History[ edit ] Elite Multimedia, the shop at the centre of the allegations In November , Chen purchased a pink PowerBook personal computer, a photograph of which he published on his blog. Employees who discovered over 1, intimate photographs of Chen and numerous female celebrities may have secretly copied these files.
Although the original post was deleted after a few hours, the image did the rounds at other major forums in Hong Kong such as Uwants and HKGolden. Chung's management agency, Emperor Entertainment Group EEG , immediately challenged its authenticity, and filed a police report. The following day, a second explicit photograph of Chen with another starlet appeared on the Internet. EEG denounced the person who released it. Gillian Chung had taken a leave of absence, and would not comment on the matter.
Shaped by the denials, the initial media consensus was that the photographs were hoaxes. Over a few hours on 29 January, several more photographs appeared on the Internet.
On one, journals identified Cecilia Cheung from her distinctive tattoo set. Related discussion threads were progressively deleted. In this regard, I plead with everyone to please stop forwarding the images on the Internet. Furthermore, to completely rid the images from your computer The uploader, dubbed by the public as "Kira",  promised to release a minute video the next day.
Having said there were only six participants, the police explained the appearance of a seventh, saying that her photographs had been erroneously grouped with one of the other females. Gillian Chung was the first starlet to make a public appearance.
After a New Year celebration with fans on 11 February, she delivered a brief statement to the press in which she apologised for the hurt caused to those around her. In this regard, I am deeply saddened. I would like now to apologize to all the people for all the suffering that has been caused and the problems that have arisen from this. I would like to apologize to all the ladies and to all their families for any harm or hurt that they have been feeling Most importantly, I would like to say sorry to all the people of Hong Kong.
Chen confirmed that the photographs belonged to him and were private, and stated that they were obtained without his consent and then made public. Media reported that five "new" celebrities had been identified by police, who gave only cryptic descriptions. The next day he was arraigned but denied bail because he was suspected of blackmailing the actor and actresses. After investigating the connection between the suspect and artists, the police were satisfied that blackmail was not involved.
He was charged with "dishonest use of computers with criminal intent", which has a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. The case was adjourned to 22 February. He added that the authenticity of the photographs was no longer in question. Wong also said of the six women found in the photographs, four were local celebrities and two were unknown to the police.
None of the women were named. A crackdown began in neighbouring Guangdong province on the manufacturing, selling and spreading the CD-ROMs of the celebrity photos,  which sold "like hotcakes" in Shenzhen.
One observer remarked that young people did not buy discs as they can get the photographs easily from the internet. This led to an immediate objection by lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung , who led a protest of about two dozen people outside police headquarters in Wan Chai.
They accused the police of sowing confusion and creating an atmosphere of " White Terror " among netizens. Leung urged Commissioner Tang to clarify whether merely keeping the pictures violated the law.
Legislator Ronny Tong accused the police of humiliating a suspect by their excessively hasty actions. Three of these photographs were classified as "indecent" while two were considered "obscene". The only photograph which was in circulation on 27 January, allegedly posted by Chung Yik-tin, was "indecent". Thus, the journal raised the question that Chung may have been charged with a wrong offence. Also, the law applies only after OAT's classification. Since the police arrested and charged Chung before classification, some viewed the arrest as unlawful.
An Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong questioned whether an amended charge of "Publishing an Indecent Article" applied to photographs uploaded onto the Internet. A team of four lawyers and a magistrate were thus flown out to Vancouver, British Columbia , Canada for a hearing beginning on 23 February at taxpayers' expense.
One week later, there was a larger protest demonstrated against alleged "discriminatory" law enforcement against Internet users. The involvement of local celebrities led to complaints that the wave of arrests were indicative of a legal double standard: They petitioned the police to apologise publicly, to release Chung Yik-tin, to stop "an abuse of power",  and also demanded the resignation of Commissioner Tang.
However, Assistant Commissioner Wong insisted that they had "not departed from normal practices" and had "acted correctly under the laws". The police emphasised the importance of maintaining public order in light of the great public and media interest in the case.
On 12 March , after Chen had appeared at a publicity event in Singapore, a threatening letter said to have originated in the US containing a bullet was delivered to a Cable TV station mailbox. During the hiatus, she took classes in many areas which she hoped would serve her professionally.
She heavily criticised Chen for shedding crocodile tears , saying that he had not returned calls and had switched off his telephone when the incident came to light.
She accused him of hypocrisy in a bid to win the public's forgiveness while hurting others caught up in the scandal. The blanket coverage of the local press, their reporting style, and the appearance of photographs has also been met with public complaints to TELA. It reportedly classified Michelangelo 's " David " as "indecent" by adhering rigidly to a definition.