Chinese A-list actress Hsu Chi wrote on a Mar. 27 blog post that she was grateful to those who had hurt her because she had matured as a result of adversity.
She wrote the post after having previously shut down her Weibo account during her involvement in the dispute between Donnie Yen and Vincent Zhao, two famous Kung-fu stars who fell out during production of the film "Special Identity".
actress Hsu Chi
Zhao left the cast after blaming his diminishing role in the film on Yen's manipulative actions during shooting. Yen responded by dismissing Zhao's allegation and he promised that he would seek legal recourse on the grounds that Zhao's public comments had damaged his reputation.
The dispute between the two martial arts stars gained added spice with the increasing involvement of a number of celebrities, who took to Weibo to lend their support, and voice their condemnation, in an increasingly divisive tug of loyalties.
Hsu became a target in the war of words after she responded to Zhao's criticism of Yen by saying that, in her experience of working with him, she had always found him to be dedicated and discreet. Thousands of fans subsequently weighed into the debate.
Hsu found herself under attack via the mass release of erotic photos featuring her images which had been shot in such soft-core films as "Sex & Zen II" in Hong Kong before she rose to prominence. Consequently, she found herself stigmatized by what is still a relatively conservative society, and was spotted shedding tears when visiting a friend after the incident.
A number of celebrities slammed the personal attack as malicious and obscene. The famous Chinese film director Feng Xiaogang, who worked with Hsu in the romantic series "If you are the one", said: "if you [online attackers] were condemned as animals, it would be an insult to animals." Even Zhao declared Hsu's innocence when he attended an awards ceremony on Mar. 27.
Hsu appears to have recovered from her recent travails, and has said that she bears no scars from recent events. She has assured concerned friends, family and fans that she will be brave.
According to Dahe Daily, a Henan-based newspaper, an anonymous Sina.com.cn employee claimed that the attack against Hsu was probably the work of Internet gangs.
Zhao Zhanling, the legal consultant of the credibility assessment center of the Internet Society of China, said that there is, as yet, no clear determination on whether online gangs violate existing laws. But in the case of Hsu Chi, her online assailants would likely face wider criminal charges under existing Chinese laws.