Sunday, February 17

The laptop repair that triggered a sex scandal

There are some very good reasons why it's a sensible idea to back up the contents of your hard disk and either erase or encrypt all the stuff you won't want others to see when handing in a PC or laptop for repairs.

You never know if the system could end up getting lost as was the case with the hapless Raelyn Campbell who is now suing Best Buy for $54 million after it happened to her. Or worse still, it could end up getting posted on the Internet for all the world to see as with the even more hapless Edison Chen, a popular singer and actor in Hong Kong.

Chen, who is a relative unknown in the U.S., is scheduled to appear in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight", the next installment in the Batman series scheduled to be released later this year. He has been making headlines in Hong Kong recently after a series of racy pictures of himself in the company of several other Hong King celebrities were published all over the Web (yes, including on YouTube). The photos, about 1300 of them actually, came from the hard disk of a computer belonging to Chen that was handed in for some sort of repairs.

While servicing the computer, the technicians apparently stumbled on to a cache of photos of the star in some rather compromising situations. But instead of just leaving them there, which would of course have been the polite thing to do (OK, maybe after a peek or two), the folks at the service center decided to post them on the Net.

I've never been to Hong Kong, so I don't know if the people there are really as ravenous for this sort of news, as media reports insist they are. But apparently, l'affaire Chen has become the hugest sex scandal to have hit Hong Kong's celebrity circuit in a while, with photos of the star's dalliances with other celebrities being splashed all over the place. Apparently it has reduced Chen's carefully cultivated "nice guy" image to a shambles. It has also tarnished the reputations of about six other celebrities including actress Cecilia Chung and singer Gillian Chung, according to reports.

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