January 17, 2018 / 3:09 PM / 6 months ago

Hong Kong star Eric Tsang denies sexual assault allegations

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong celebrity Eric Tsang denied allegations of sexual misconduct on Wednesday and said he was taking legal action against one of his two accusers.

Hong Kong actor Eric Tsang holds a news conference in Hong Kong, China January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Tsang, a household name in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Chinese-speaking communities around the world, is one of the most high-profile Asian stars to face such accusations amid a global campaign against sexual harassment and assault.

Speaking at a news conference, Tsang denied any wrongdoing after being accused in widely circulated online reports of raping a Hong Kong actress in Singapore in the 1990s.

“Recently, there are some untrue reports on the Internet about myself. Those reports carry very serious accusations toward me,” said Tsang.

“They have affected my reputation, and sadly, they have hurt my supporting friends, my beloved family, my children ... I feel that there is a need for me to now step up and to make a public response.”

Tsang, an actor, comedian, director and producer, described the rape allegation as “totally made-up”.

“I am willing to cooperate with any investigation,” he said.

He also said that he was taking legal action against Grace Han, a former head of the Ford Modelling agency in Asia, over allegations she had posted on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

“Regarding Madam Han’s untrue accusations on Sina Weibo, I have already undertaken legal action to sue her. Currently, legal proceedings are under way,” said Tsang, who took no questions from reporters.

Han had written on her verified Weibo account in January, after the rape reports began circulating, that Tsang had made “sexual assaults on female celebrities more than once”. On another occasion, she said Tsang had tried to spike the drinks of some of her models in a karaoke lounge in Hong Kong.

Han gave no immediate response to a Reuters request for comment.

The campaign aimed at raising awareness of sexual harassment and assault, epitomized by the #MeToo social media hashtag, was last month named Time magazine’s 2017 “Person of the Year”.

It has sparked numerous accusations by men and women who said they were victimized by high-powered figures in the entertainment industry and other fields.

Reporting by Donny Kwok in Hong Kong and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by James Pomfret and Alex Richardson

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