Hong Kong celebrity Gillian Chung has made her first official comeback appearance. Her clean cut image was shattered last year by a sex-photo scandal involving actor Edison Chen.
Chung admitted that she was scared to face the media on Tuesday, but she said she was determined to return to showbis.
The 28-year-old appeared as the regional ambassador for a local fashion label, Bauhaus TOUGH Jeansmith. She reportedly received a seven-digit sum for the gig.
Bauhaus said Chung’s ability to overcome challenges fits with the brand’s image, and in what’s believed to be the first time, Chung addressed the media in English.
Her good girl persona was shattered when explicit sex photos of her, together with actor-singer Chen, appeared on the internet last year. Other starlets were also victims of the photo leak, which is seen as the local entertainment industry’s biggest scandal of 2008.
Her appearance on a televised charity show soon after the scandal drew more than 2,000 complaints, forcing her to put her career on hold.
“This year was quite hard for me. I had lots of pressure. But I know I have to face the problem and I have a long road to go. So I learned martial arts, dancing and singing. I hope when I come back I can do my very best,” she said.
The man at the centre of the storm has made a public apology, and has not returned to Hong Kong. Last month, Chen testified in a Vancouver court, ahead of the trial of the computer technician accused of stealing the photos from his computer.
Fighting back tears, Chung vowed to team up once again with her “Twins” partner, Charlene Choi.
“For Ah-Sha (Charlene) to handle ‘Twins’ on her own this past year was not easy. When I saw her on-screen, I could see she was really tired. So I called her to say ‘I’m sorry’ and she told me I didn’t need to say it again. We are very close, so I can’t disappoint her again,” she said.
With Hong Kongers holding relatively conservative views, it remains to be seen whether they will embrace Chung’s comeback with open arms.