Jackie Chan's son released from jail in China after drugs charge

Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:03pm EST
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Jaycee Chan, the son of kung fu movie star Jackie Chan, was released from jail in China on Friday after serving a six-month sentence on drugs charges, state media said, having been caught up in the government's aggressive anti-narcotics campaign.

The official Xinhua news agency said he was let out in the early hours of the morning having completed his sentence, taking into account time already served since he was put in detention in August.

The younger Chan, a 32-year-old actor and singer, was formally charged in December with "the crime of sheltering others to take drugs" after testing positive for marijuana, with police saying they found 100 grams of the drug at his home. He faced a maximum prison sentence of three years.

He is expected to hold a news conference in Beijing on Saturday.

Celebrities have been a major linchpin in the government's campaign to get tough on drugs.

Jaycee Chan is among a string of other mostly B-list celebrities detained last year by Chinese authorities on drug-related charges that have been publicized widely in both state and social media. They have included movie and television stars, film directors and a prominent screenwriter.

Illegal drugs, especially synthetic substances like methamphetamine, ketamine and ecstasy, have grown in popularity in China in tandem with the rise of a new urban class with greater disposable income.

State media has reported that Jackie Chan felt ashamed of his son's drug abuse and hopes that one day he will speak out about the dangers of taking drugs.

The older Chan had served as a goodwill spokesman for the China National Anti-Drug Committee in 2009, promoting anti-drug education.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

Hong Kong actor Jaycee Chan arrives at the Hong Kong Film Awards in this April 19, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Bobby Yip