Hong Kong award-winning actor-director Eric Tsang Chi-wai has denied allegations of sexual assault and harassment and said he was taking legal action against one of his two accusers.
Tsang, a household name in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Chinese-speaking communities around the world, is one of the most high-profile Asian stars to face such accusations amid a global campaign against sexual harassment and assault.
The campaign aimed at raising awareness of sexual harassment and assault, epitomised by the #MeToo social media hashtag, was last month named Time magazine’s 2017 ‘Person of the Year’.
It has sparked numerous accusations by men and women who said they were victimised by high-powered figures in the entertainment industry and other fields.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Tsang denied any wrongdoing after being accused in widely circulated online reports of raping Hong Kong actress Yammie Lam in Singapore in the 1990s.
“Recently, there are some untrue reports on the Internet about myself. Those reports carry very serious accusations towards me,” said Tsang.
He categorised the allegations as “libel” and “cyberbullying”.
“They have affected my reputation, and sadly, they have hurt my supporting friends, my beloved family, my children…I feel that there is a need for me to now step up and to make a public response.”
Tsang, an actor, comedian, director and producer, described the rape allegation as “totally made-up”.
“Respecting women is my firmly held principle. I am willing to assist any kind of investigations, and am determined to use legal means to protect my reputation,” he said.
According to Tsang, the video in which Lam accused him of raping her in the 1990s was inaccurately edited and his name inserted into the clip.
Tsang was accompanied by his son, film director Derek Tsang Kwok-cheung, and two lawyers.
He also said that he was taking legal action against “godmother of Chinese modelling” Grace Han, a former head of the Ford Modelling agency in Asia, who accused Tsang on Weibo of rape and harassment.
“Regarding Madam Han’s untrue accusations on Sina Weibo, I have already undertaken legal action to sue her. Currently, legal proceedings are underway,” said Tsang, who took no questions from reporters.
Han had written on her verified Weibo account in January, after the rape reports began circulating, that Tsang had made “sexual assaults on female celebrities more than once”.
On another occasion, she said Tsang had tried to spike the drinks of some of her models in a karaoke lounge in Hong Kong.
After Tsang’s press conference, Han immediately hit back on Weibo, saying “facts are facts.”
She added: “Do you think holding a press conference makes you a righteous man? The reason I made the criticism publicly is that such a thing really happened. Sue me? I’ll sit and wait.”
Han, who discovered Chinese supermodels Du Juan, Lu Yan and Li Ai, wrote that she had warned models about Tsang, but a group of women ended up going to a bar with him after he mentioned a teen idol would be going as well.
While there, a model felt dizzy after she took a sip from a drink upon returning from the restroom. But while that model remained alert, “others became unconscious.”
Han also said that she can ask witnesses at the karaoke bar to come out and testify against Tsang and his friends.
Earlier report: Jan 11, Eric Tsang Allegedly Raped Yammie Lam