CHINA - Last month legendary actor Jackie Chan publically apologised after his son Jaycee Chan, 31, was detained for testing positive to marijuana and admitting to using the drug. And now Jackie Chan’s heart continues to break after the authorities approved his son's arrest and he was officially charged.
On Wednesday Jaycee was formally arrested in Beijing on suspicion of allowing other people to consume drugs, a charge that, according to prosecutors, can carry a maximum sentence of three years' in prison. The Dongcheng District prosecutor's office said it had been given approval for the formal arrest of Jaycee, following a request from police the week before and it confirmed the news via their blog.
Jaycee became the highest-profile celebrity to be caught out in an anti-drug crackdown by Chinese authorities when he was detained last month along with Taiwanese actor Ko Kai. Police claimed a few days later a 100 grams of marijuana was taken from Jaycee's home. Meanwhile, Ko, 23, was given a sentence of 14 days in administrative detention after he admitted using marijuana.
After he was released he wept at a news conference alongside his parents and agents and vehemently apologised for the incident. In August Jackie took to his blog to say that Jaycee would have to face the consequences of his actions, but that they would do so together. 'Regarding this issue with my son Jaycee, I feel very angry and very shocked. As a public figure, I'm very ashamed. As a father, I'm heartbroken,' Chan wrote. Jaycee and Kai were the latest high-profile celebrities to be caught out in one of China's biggest anti-drug crackdowns in two decades.
'Jaycee and I together express our deep apology to society and the public,' Chan wrote. Local media reported that the elder Chan and Ko's father travelled to Beijing to meet with their sons this week. The reports could not be immediately confirmed. Extending from his fame as an actor and singer, the elder Chan is a high-profile public figure in mainland China and was named by Beijing as an anti-drug ambassador in 2009. 'I hope all young people will learn a lesson from Jaycee and stay far from the harm of drugs,' Chan wrote. 'I say to Jaycee that you have to accept the consequences when you do something wrong. As your father, I'm going to face the road together with you.'
Ko was part of an anti-drug campaign two years ago in which he appeared in a public service announcement declaring: 'I don't use drugs.' Chinese state broadcaster CCTV showed him weeping and apologizing for setting a poor example and making 'a big mistake.' The younger Chan, whose mother is former Taiwanese actress Lin Fang-jiao, was raised in Los Angeles and has appeared in some 20 films, most of them low-budget Hong Kong and Chinese productions. Also a singer and multi-instrumentalist, he has yet to enjoy anything like the global superstardom attained by his father. Most recently, the younger Chan had been working with famed Chinese director Chen Kaige on The Monk due for release next summer.
Ko, whose real name is Ko Chen-tung, became a sensation after his 2011 coming-of-age film You Are the Apple of My Eye. It earned him a Best New Performer award at the Golden Horse film awards in Taiwan, considered the most prestigious in Chinese-language cinema. He played the boyfriend of one of the protagonists in China-produced Tiny Times 3.0, which appealed to young female audiences and knocked Transformers 4 from the No. 1 spot in the mainland's box office last month.
Along with speculating about their entertainment careers, local media have questioned Chan's and Ko's continuing value as commercial endorsees. Such deals can be highly lucrative, but businesses in China demand their brand ambassadors maintain squeaky-clean images.
Jaycee Chan is accused of aiding and abetting other drug users, an offense that carries a maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment. Ko is accused of using drugs, a much less serious accusation, but the potential penalty wasn't immediately clear. Chinese President Xi Jinping declared in June that illegal drugs should be wiped out and that offenders should be severely punished. The crackdown has snared more than 7,800 people in Beijing alone, according to police.
Detained previously was Gao Hu, who acted in the 2011 movie The Flowers of War. And Beijing performing arts associations and theatere companies have pledged to not hire any actors connected with drugs.
Mail Online/September 17, 2014
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