Rising kung fu starlet Rose Chan Ka-woon made a report to the police and a public complaint yesterday alleging she had been molested by two married actors after a news magazine published pictures of her apparently being pawed by the pair.
The incident between the 19-year-old model-actress and actors Benny Chan Ho-man and Joe Ma Tak-chung - both of whom have apologised to the actress for their behaviour - took place during dinner at a restaurant in Hengdian, a city in Zhejiang, on Saturday.
The paparazzi pictures were published in the latest edition of Oriental Sunday. They showed Benny Chan covering the starlet's mouth from behind, touching her private parts and forcibly kissing her. Ma was also seen hugging and kissing her. Tears welling, an 'upset and shocked' Rose Chan said yesterday she had tried unsuccessfully to fight off the two men.
'I would never have thought these two well-known actors - both happy, with their own families - would do that to me. They should have treated me like a little girl, but they turned into different people,' she told reporters. 'I felt very lost and scared at that moment - I couldn't react.'
The actors are shooting a film, Princess and Seven Kung Fu Masters, directed by Wong Jing, in Hengdian. The comedy also features Eric Tsang Chi-wai and Sandra Ng Kwan-yu. It is expected to be in theatres in May.
Benny Chan apologised to the starlet on his official microblog on Monday, saying it was just for fun and he hoped it would not affect her work.
'I was wrong. I only have myself to blame for being too hospitable ... it was over the top and made my friends unhappy and worried the people who care about me,' he said.
Ma said on his microblog that Benny Chan misbehaved after getting drunk and he was remorseful for not putting a stop to it sooner. He said he was just trying to comfort Rose Chan afterwards but she misunderstood him. He also apologised to her.
Filmmaker Wong was critical of both men on his official microblog. 'Chan Ho-man is like a satyr molesting schoolgirls on a bus ... Ma Tak-chung just wants to distance himself from the incident, betray his friends and put all the responsibility on others,' he said. The actress' manager, Ronnie Chan, said she would continue to act in the film with the two men.
'It's certainly an unhappy event, but we have reported it to the police and the public now know the truth. The work must go on,' she said.
Rose Chan, apprentice of Yip Chun, son of martial art legend Yip Man, gained her reputation in the movie The Legend is Born - Ip Man last year in which she played Ip's fellow apprentice.
Ma, 43, a former police VIP protection unit member, joined TVB in 1993 and has played various roles, being nominated five times for TVB's best actor award. Neither Ma's manager nor TVB would comment on the case. Benny Chan, 42, a former TVB actor, has focused his career development on the mainland in recent years. He is best known for playing the Monkey King in TVB's Journey to the West II in 1998.