Gillian Chung 'ready to get back into showbiz'
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Canto-pop singer Gillian Chung Yan-tung, the scandal-hit star of the Twins pop duo, put on her new-found tough image to meet the press for the first time in more than a year, telling the world that she was prepared to live showbiz life despite criticism.
But Chung's mask of toughness almost came off as tears welled up in her eyes when she spoke of her Twins partner Charlene Choi Cheuk-yin, who had been left to go it alone because of the sex-photos scandal.
Chung made her official return to showbiz yesterday with a press conference attended by more than 100 journalists and photographers to announce her new role as ambassador for local fashion brand Bauhaus Tough Jeansmith. Ironically, the press conference was held in the same hall at the Hong Kong Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kowloon Bay where her ex-boyfriend Edison Chen Koon-hei made his public apology for the scandal in February last year. Chung was one of several stars embroiled in the scandal after photos of them having sex with Chen were put on the internet.
Wrapped in a grey, knee-length coat, Chung strode on stage with a show of confidence. She admitted that she was nervous and thanked her family, friends and colleagues for their support through a tough year.
'I have grown up a lot and [this experience] has made me tougher,' Chung said, adding that after visiting earthquake victims in Sichuan she realised that what happened 'to me was really not a big deal'.
Chung hoped that the Twins could return to the stage as soon as possible. 'Charlene has been handling this on her own and that wasn't easy. She looked exhausted on TV and I called her to apologise,' Chung said, trying to hold back tears. 'She told me to stop apologising. I must not let her down again.'
Chung said she saw fellow photo scandal victim Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi's interview on Cable TV, in which Cheung hit out at Chen for not personally apologising to the victims.
'She was very good [in the interview]. She was very brave,' Chung said, adding that she supported Cheung's return to the silver screen. She refused to comment on Cheung's remark about Chen.
Chung was also particularly grateful to her fans.
'They never abandoned me, and they have been fighting this battle with me, arguing with other people,' Chung said, referring to criticisms about her comeback posted online or complaints lodged with the Broadcasting Authority. The authority has so far received 494 complaints about Chung's appearance in an interview with TVB last week.
Chung said that she has been trying to ignore the criticism. 'I know that there are people against me. It's expected, and I know the future is going to be tough. But I'll do my best.'
The Canto-pop star's next move will be a public appearance at the Bauhaus store in Mong Kok this afternoon. She said she was already prepared for the event.
Chung also made it clear that she did not want to quit show business just yet. '[My money] is not enough to support my family for the rest of their lives. Besides, I really like this business,' she said.