February 14, 2015 / 9:44 AM / in 3 years

Jackie Chan's son, freed from jail, apologizes to the public

BEIJING (Reuters) - Jaycee Chan, son of movie star Jackie Chan, began the process of rehabilitating his image on Saturday as he appeared in public for the first time following a six-month jail sentence on drug charges and apologized for his actions.

Hong Kong actor Jaycee Chan attends a news conference at a hotel in Beijing, February 14, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Speaking softly and wearing a dark-colored suit and collarless shirt, the 32-year-old entertainer told reporters in Beijing he would dedicate his energy toward film and music projects and spend more time with his distraught mother.

“As a public figure, this incident has had a negative impact on society, disappointed people who supported me, and caused losses for people who have worked with me,” said Chan, who extended a deep bow of apology before and after his remarks.

Chan was detained in August after he tested positive for marijuana and police found 100 grams of the drug in his Beijing home. He was formally charged in December with “the crime of sheltering others to take drugs.”

The case has been heavily publicized by state media amid a country-wide crackdown on drug use that has netted several other B-list celebrities. State media have reported that Jackie Chan felt ashamed about his son’s drug use and hopes he will speak out about its dangers one day.

Methamphetamine and ketamine use have risen across the country in recent years, and the government continues to prosecute marijuana use heavily.

Chan’s saga has captivated the Chinese public partly because his father - named an anti-drug ambassador by China in 2009 - is considered to have political connections in the capital.

The younger Chan said he did not receive preferential treatment in jail, nor did his father attempt to use his influence to lessen his sentence.

He described a contemplative life behind bars consisting of history discussions with a cell mate and reading about Buddhism.

At one point Chan recited a quote from a philosophy book he read while inside. The book, he told reporters, was written by a Taiwanese Buddhist master and entitled “Put it down.”

Reporting by Gerry Shih; Editing by Kim Coghill

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