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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2008, 13:29 GMT
Star apologises over sex photos
Edison Chen
Edison Chen is to suspend his career "indefinitely"
Actor and singer Edison Chen has apologised and promised to suspend his career in the aftermath of a sex photo scandal which has gripped China.

Several people have been arrested after 1,300 private shots which Chen, 27, had taken were put on the internet.

He told a news conference he was "deeply saddened" and wanted to "apologise to all the people for all the suffering that has been caused".

Chen said he was stepping down from his showbusiness career "indefinitely".

Canadian-born Chen is a famous Asian actor and hip-hop artist.

He appeared in the Infernal Affairs trilogy, which was later made into the Hollywood film The Departed.

He was also in The Grudge 2 with Sarah Michelle Gellar.

'Malicious and deliberate'

The explicit photographs include at least six women celebrities.

Edison Chen (file photo)
Chen has apologised to anyone affected by the images
The affair has led to least 10 arrests and threats of further criminal action.

Chen said: "I admit that most of these photos being circulated on the internet were taken by me.

"But these photos were very private and have not been shown to people and were never intended to be shown to anyone."

Hong Kong police say the photos were uploaded by staff at a computer repair shop which Chen took his laptop to.

"There is no doubt whoever obtained these photos had been uploading them on the internet with malicious and deliberate intent," said Chen.

"This matter has deteriorated to the extent that society as a whole has been affected by this, and in this regard I am deeply saddened."

'Naive and silly'

Chen confirmed he had been helping the police investigation but believed it was too late to save his career. He said he would focus on voluntary and charity work.

"I have decided to step away from the Hong Kong entertainment industry. I have decided to do this to give myself an opportunity to heal myself and search my soul," he said.

Those under arrest are accused of copying and distributing explicit pictures.

They were published across the internet and could be found on China's most popular search engine, Baidu.

Pornography is officially banned in China and the internet is restricted and closely monitored by the government.

One of the women implicated, singer Gillian Chung, apologised last week for being "naive and silly" but did not confirm the photographs were authentic.

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