Jackie Chan heads to Beijing to help son Jaycee after marijuana arrest
Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan has travelled to Beijing in a bid to help his son Jaycee, following the 32-year-old's arrest on drugs charges.
Police said they had found more than 100 grams of marijuana at the younger Chan's home.
In the latest high-profile arrest during one of China's biggest anti-drug crackdowns in decades, Chan was held on Thursday, along with 23-year-old Taiwanese movie star Ko Chen-tung, Beijing police said.
Police said both actors had tested positive for marijuana and admitted using the drug, and that 100 grams of it were taken from Chan’s home.
Watch: Jackie Chan's son Jaycee Chan arrested over drug charges
Talent agency M'Stones, which represents Chan – who is also known as Fang Zuming – confirmed he had been held but said the company lawyer could not reach him. A statement from M'Stones apologised for the impact on society his arrest had had, and said it would work with Fong to return him to the "righteous path".
Jackie Chan has travelled to Beijing to deal with his son's case, according to his publicist.
Several celebrities have been detained on drug charges following a declaration in June by President Xi Jinping that illegal drugs should be wiped out and that offenders would be severely punished. In Beijing alone, more than 7,800 people have been caught in the crackdown, police said.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV aired footage of a police search of the younger Chan’s home in Beijing in which he is depicted, his face pixelated, showing officers where he stashed bags of marijuana. Police said they acted on a tip-off from the public.
Chan is accused of accommodating drug users, an offence that carries a maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment – a far more serious charge than that of drug consumption. Two other people detained in the same case were accused of selling drugs, while Ko is accused of drug consumption.
China named Jackie Chan an anti-drug ambassador in 2009. Ko, the Taiwanese star, was part of an anti-drug campaign two years ago, CCTV reported, showing footage of the campaign in which he joins other celebrities in a chorus declaring: “I don’t use drugs.”
On Tuesday, Ko was shown on CCTV, his face pixelated, tearfully apologising to his fans and family.
“I feel very regretful, very sorry to all the people who support me ... I’ve been a very bad example, I’ve made a very big mistake,” Ko said.
Ko starred in the Taiwanese hit movie You Are the Apple of My Eye, which earned critical acclaim and instant fame for the actor.
Watch: Detained Taiwanese actor Ko Chen-tung confesses on China state TV
Angie Chai, owner of Taiwan-based talent agency Star Ritz to which Ko belongs, said in a statement she regretted Ko’s mistake and that the agency apologised.
“I almost collapsed when I heard this,” Chai said. “We are family of Ko’s career, but we have been neglecting his life education through out his career development. We hope and expect him to have self-discipline, but it turned out he made a bad mistake. He has set a very bad example [...] We have full responsibility for Ko.”
Illegal drug use has ballooned in China in recent decades, after being virtually eradicated following the 1949 communist revolution. Narcotics began to reappear with the loosening of social controls in the late 1980s.
In more recent years, rising wealth and greater personal freedoms have been accompanied by a growing popularity of methamphetamines and the party drugs Ecstasy and ketamine. They are often bought on social media forums and consumed in nightclubs, leading to periodic police crackdowns.
It has been reported that Jackie Chan has invested in land, property and in the film industry in China, as well as promoting mainland charities. Jaycee Chan has played some important roles in mainland-produced films, such as The Ideal City directed by famous writer Hanhan in 2012.
The father and son duo have landed some lucrative advertising contracts in the mainland, too. In August 2008, they represented Yuan Ye tea brand launched by Coca-Cola.
In the past six months, several entertainment artists have been arrested for drug use, including mainland singer Li Daimo, director Zhang Yuan, actor Zhang Mo and screen writer Ning Caishen. In July, Hong Kong actor Roy Cheung was also arrested for using marijuana.
Last Wednesday, forty-two artist management agencies signed an anti-drug agreement with local police in Beijing, claiming that they would refuse to hire artists who used drugs in the future, in a bid by authorities to tackle drug-use within the entertainment industry.
One Beijing-based director said that he was investing in a film which was considering using Kai Ko as the lead actor. “We can no longer hire him, since he’s now been arrested for drug use,” he said.
“However, the anti-drug agreement contains discrimination. It should not become the only rule to deny an actor’s talents and chances,” he added, preferring not to be named.