Get us in your inbox


Hong Kong's 10 biggest scandals

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong

Let's be honest, we all love a good bit of tabloid fodder. And Hong Kong's seen more than its fair share – not that we're complaining. These are the 10 biggest Hong Kong scandals that have got the city talking over the years:

Edison Chen
When you think of scandals in Hong Kong, one incident immediately springs to mind – Edison Chen and those photos. In 2008, private snaps of the actor and singer in bed with Hong Kong female celebrities like Cecilia Cheung and Gillian Chung were leaked on the internet. Reputations were ruined and the gossip mill was unrelenting. Chen apologised and, seven years later, claimed it was an accident but he ‘wouldn’t change a thing’. Hmm.

Carina Lau
Actress Carina Lau was at the centre of a huge scandal in the 90s. Topless photos, it’s claimed, were taken of her when she was allegedly abducted by triads during the making of 1990 movie Days of Being Wild. She was silent on the issue for more than a decade until the pictures were leaked and published in a magazine in 2002. 

Gigi Chao
Billionaire Cecil Chao refused to accept his daughter Gigi’s sexual orientation in 2012 and offered millions of bucks to any man who could convince her to marry him. Gigi addressed her father in an open letter in a newspaper, asking him to accept her female partner, Sean Eav. Daddy later apparently said ‘it’s her life’. Yes, it is.

John MacLennan
In 1980, police officer John MacLennan was found dead with five bullets to the chest. Though ruled as suicide, speculation about the location of the bullets led many to suspect murder. MacLennan had been fired from his position in late 1978 due to claims he was homosexual, which was cetrainly taboo back then. Cue one of the most expensive public investigations in our city at the time.

Jamie Briggs
Many boozers have had a memorable night at LKF bar Stormies. Last year, married Australian politican Jamie Briggs’ evening there proved to be particularly memorable as it led to his resignation after some ‘inappropriate advances’ he allegedly made towards a female civil servant. It was claimed there was a kiss, a comment about ‘piercing eyes’ and some ‘standing too close’ to said girl.

Lead-laden water
Scandals don't always involve celebs. They can involve tap-water. Last year, residents in public housing in Kowloon City were found to have high amounts of lead in their supplies and many were recorded with unhealthy traces in their blood. Remember to filter your water!

Cambridge Nursing Home
Last year, Cambridge Nursing Home in Tai Po was exposed by a newspaper as allegedly cruelly mistreating its elderly residents. Reports claimed that some residents were left naked on the roof, waiting for a shower and hit, among other harsh instances. It was renamed Forest Nursing Home this summer.

Harlan Goldstein
This self-proclaimed celebrity chef has upset more than a few people over the past decade. In 2008, his then business partner JJH Company Ltd alleged hed misused cash for personal spending. This September, he unexpectedly left his latest dining venture – four restaurants with ZS Hospitality on Lyndhurst Terrace. Its the third time he’s left his own projects. Scandalous? We think so.

Henry Tang
Former chief secretary and the guy who saw the top spot go to CY Leung, Henry Tang, has had his fair share of scandals. This year, as part of the Panama Papers leaked financial documents, he’s alleged to have failed to declare his interests in an offshore company back in 2002. He, and loads of other politicians.

Jackie Chan’s ‘lovechild’
In 1999 – the same year his son Jaycee was born – former Miss Asia, Elaine Ng, gave birth to Etta Ng and discloses her affair with the star. Ng said she was to take care of her daughter alone. Later newspaper reports stated that Chans will left nothing to Etta. Last year, for the first time, Chan spoke about Etta Ng in an interview but refused to dwell on the subject. 

Latest news