Gillian Chung Files a Writ Against Magazine Over Peep Photos

Canto-pop star Gillian Chung Yan-tung filed a writ yesterday against Easy Finder magazine for publishing photographs of her changing her costume backstage during a concert in Malaysia.

Lawmakers also expressed their anger at the photos — which were classified as Class II indecent by the Obscene Articles Tribunal last week — saying they would bring the matter before the Legislative Council.

Chung, of the popular duo Twins, sought an injunction against further publication of the photos and for the magazine to surrender all copies of the photographs.

The writ, issued against the magazine, its chief editor and printer, says the photographs, "which were illegally, covertly and improperly taken" and published without her prior knowledge or consent, amount to a common law "breach of confidence".

It also asks for an accounting of the proceeds made from publication of the photos and unspecified damages. Chung was photographed changing by a hidden camera in a dressing room at the Genting Arena of Stars in Malaysia.

Democratic Party legislator Sin Chung-kai, chairman of the panel on information technology and broadcasting, said the panel would discuss the matter on September 11.

Chan Kam-lam, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said he would raise a motion in Legco after the summer recess to call for penalties against Easy Finder.

"This isn’t a matter of one publication but an issue for the whole of society," he said. "These magazines think they can simply profit by smearing the entertainment industry, but they are damaging society’s moral fibre by doing so."

The legislators spoke at a press conference at TVB City attended by 300 artists to support Chung and call for greater protection of their privacy. Speaking at the conference, Chung said the photographs had hurt her image.

Twins "worked very hard to establish our image and we have a lot of fans who are children. I don’t know how I could face them," she said, breaking down in tears.

She did not know when or how many photos were taken. "I’m very worried that more pictures will show up elsewhere," she said, calling on the public to boycott the magazine and others like it.

The vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Performing Artists Guild, Lawrence Cheng Dan-sui, said guild members would march to Government House today to petition the chief executive to reform existing laws to better protect artists’ privacy. They also plan to meet commerce chief Joseph Wong Wing-ping.

Guild honorary chairman Jackie Chan said the photographs sent the wrong message to children. "Children who buy the magazine and look at it are engaging in voyeurism. They will think that it is okay to do so because of this," he said.

A march organised by several women’s groups will proceed today from Chater Garden to the Central Government Offices. Organiser Yolanda Ng Yuen-ting said 20,000 signatures had been collected.

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