Star-studded drugs and assault scandal grows
Vivienne Chow and Joyce Man
The fallout over the alleged existence of a video showing celebrities taking drugs at a restaurant has just escalated - with the boss of the restaurant Kenny Wee Ho suing TV actor Oscar Leung Lit-wai for making defamatory statements.
It follows earlier demands from celebrities said to be present at the scandal-hit dinner for Wee to stop making defamatory statements.
Now, Wee, the husband of 2006 Miss Hong Kong contestant Suki Chui Suk-man, is accusing Leung of making offending statements some time around December 6.
The statements that Wee alleges are defamatory cannot be published for legal reasons.
They were made after allegations that comedian Eric Tsang Chi-wai had slapped Wee in a row at a wedding reception at the Marriott Hotel on December 5.
Tsang was arrested last week for common assault and criminal intimidation. He was released on bail and ordered to report back to police in mid-January.
Wee had demanded an apology from Leung regarding his comments by noon on Monday. This apparently failed to materialise, and Wee then filed his claim for unspecified damages at the High Court on Thursday.
"The defendant published the statements maliciously which were false and defamatory," Wee's lawyers wrote in the court filing. Wee is also seeking an injunction to stop Leung making any more defamatory statements about him.
A TVB spokeswoman said that the TV station had no comment as the issue was under investigation.
Born in 1979, Leung is the nephew of Shaw Brothers kung fu star Bryan Leung Ka-yan. He joined TVB in 2004 playing mostly supporting roles.
Just this month, he won the TVB Most Vastly Improved Actor Award for performances including the portrayal of a man caught in Hong Kong's housing crisis in the drama series L'Escargot.
The legal action is the latest development of an ongoing scandal involving a string of celebrities who were allegedly captured on CCTV consuming what was suspected to be illegal drugs at a dinner party in Wee's Taiwan Yiping Huadiao Chicken restaurant in Causeway Bay.
It came to light last month when Wee commented on the alleged footage.
On December 5, Canto-pop star Eason Chan Yik-shun and his actress-turned-fashion guru wife Hilary Tsui Ho-ying - who was allegedly at the dinner party - held a press conference to deny Tsui was a drug abuser. That same night, Wee reported to the police that he was slapped by Tsang at a wedding party.
A week later, Tsui, together with actress Josie Ho Chiu-yee and other stars who allegedly attended the dinner, demanded Wee refrain from making further defamatory claims. Wee obliged.
Tsang was arrested on December 19. On the same day, the board of Wee's restaurant, which is headquartered in Taiwan, said in a statement that CCTV cameras have been installed in the restaurant since it opened to protect customers' safety and any footage was the restaurant's property. The statement did not elaborate on the video rumours.
A notice to the same effect was placed in a prominent spot at the restaurant's reception.