October 5, 2009 / 10:03 PM / 9 years ago

Asian star Chen returns to movies after sex scandal

Hong Kong actor Edison Chen attends a news conference promoting his new movie "Sniper" in Singapore, in this April 5, 2009 file photograph. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Canadian-born actor Edison Chen returned to movie work on Monday for the first time since a 2008 sex photo scandal that tarnished the careers of celebrities in Asia.

Chen is starring in the English-language movie “Almost Perfect,” the story of a professional woman who must balance her newfound romance with the pressures of family life, said New York-based production company Slew Pictures.

Kelly Hu, who starred in the 2002 movie “The Scorpion King” and has since appeared in television shows “In Plain Sight” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” is playing the lead female role.

Chen disappeared from the film industry after January 2008, when photos emerged of him having sex with women including the Hong Kong starlets Cecilia Cheung and Bobo Chan.

Chen, 28, apologized for the controversy. But he was the object of public anger, with one Hong Kong TV station getting a death threat letter accompanied by a bullet that warned the actor to stop making appearances.

Computer technician Sze Ho-chun was accused of stealing and distributing the sexually explicit pictures from Chen’s computer. Sze was found guilty in a Hong Kong court in April and later sentenced to more than eight months in jail.

Slew Pictures has not set a release date for “Almost Perfect” but said shooting began on Monday. Its previous projects include the 2002 movie “Face” starring Ling Bai.

The multilingual Chen, who was born in Vancouver, starred in the 2006 movie “The Grudge 2” and earlier this year he appeared in the Hong Kong film “The Sniper” that was made before the scandal but then withheld from release.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by John O'Callaghan

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