Two Taiwan female artists pledged to offer 25 million yuan (US$3.5 million) each to any one who can prove their involvement in the nude picture scandal that shows singer and actor Edison Chen in sexual poses with a dozen women in bed.
Jolin Tsai and Elva Hsiao, two singers who were rumored to have relationships with Chen, 27, both issued statements through their agent companies on Wednesday, saying any one who can come up with their pictures with Chen in bed can get the reward if courts prove the pictures are real, Sina.com.cn reported.
The nude picture scandal has shocked the world's Chinese-speaking community after more than 800 photographs have been circulated on the Internet since late January.
The pictures so far have embroiled seven female celebrities, including Gillian Chung of the female duo Twins and actress Cecilia Cheung.
Hong Kong police so far have found nearly 10,000 racy photos after they seized computer-related items and a laptop belonging to Chen last Friday, the report said.
Five more female celebrities were said to have been in the photographs, raising rumors that Tsai and Hsiao may be on the list, the report said.
"The rumors have hurt not only me, but my family and friends as well," Tsai said in her statement, stressing that she had nothing to do with the scandal.
The 28-year-old singer said her agent company will demand "unlimited" compensation if any media group reports Tsai's rumored connection with the scandal that "damages" her, the report said.
Hsiao also said she was never in a relationship with Chen and asked the public to stop "meaningless talk" about her role in the scandal, the report said.
Chen has already asked Hong Kong Customs to protect his copyright on the nude pictures and warned against any copyright infringement of the photographs.
The Canadian-born Chinese told more than 300 reporters at a news conference last Thursday that he decided to quit the Hong Kong entertainment industry after he finishes current projects. He also said he was "sorry to the women and their families" involved in the scandal and hoped he could receive "the public's forgiveness" and "a new chance."
(Shanghai Daily February 27, 2008)