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"A penny for your thoughts"

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Taiwanese politician Chu Mei-Feng rocks with sex scandal

In December 2001, a local paparazzi magazine published a 47-minute video CD, secretly taken with a pinhole camera, purportedly showing Chu having sex with a man who was later confirmed as married Tseng Chung-ming. This video quickly spread via the Internet globally (search engine Lycos reported that her name was among the most searched terms in January 2002), despite local authorities' immediate effort to pull all the magazines in question from the market. In 2002 many Taiwanese lingerie manufacturers reported a significant growth in the sales of white thong panties, which Chu wore in the video.

Taiwanese politician Chu Mei-feng became famous in December 2001 when a video of her having sex with a married man was distributed on CD by Taiwan's Scoop magazine. Chu was a Taipei city councillor and former TV journalist, and the release of the video created a storm of publicity in Asia and (thanks to copies circulated on the Internet) around the world. Investigators found that a friend of Chu's, Kuo Yu-ling, had installed a hidden camera in Chu's bedroom and sold the resulting video to Scoop. Kuo was arrested and charged with violations of privacy and theft as well as undermining public morality. Chu capitalized on the publicity by releasing an autobiography, Confessions of Chu Mei-feng, in February 2002.

Taiwan sex scandal MP turns to songMarch 16, 2002
SINGAPORE (Reuters) -- A former Taiwan politician embroiled in a gripping sex scandal launched her singing debut in Singapore to an enthusiastic middle-aged audience late Friday.

The 35-year old TV-reporter turned politician Chu Mei-feng became one of the best known women in the Chinese-speaking world after a Taiwan tabloid magazine gave away a secretly taped video of her having sex with a married lover in December.

Pirated copies of the video made their way across the globe.

Chu, clad in a somber black gown and a fanciful mask held to her face, was the final act in an all male line-up spiced with scantily clad dancers.

She belted out an old favorite by the late Taiwanese crooner Teresa Teng and four other songs to a nearly full auditorium.

"I came to see her because I was curious," 30-year old self-employed Jonas Pang told Reuters after the show. "I expected her not to be able to sing but she's really very good. I'm very satisfied."

Getting Friday night's show on the road in Singapore, with its squeaky clean image and hard line towards pornography, was not easy.

The concert got the green light only after organizers put up a S$10,000 bond

which they stood to lose if they had so much as mentioned the controversial video.

"Its very important to hold onto every moment that I live and it's a very precious experience for me to be here," she said.

Flower bouquets filled Chu's arms after the show as enthusiastic applause flowed from an appreciative audience.

Chu said she was gripped by stage fright, although she appeared cool and composed on stage.

"I was very nervous," she said. "I was sweating away backstage...I was afraid I would step on my skirt and fall down."

Chu disappeared from the public eye after the scandal broke but quickly followed up with a book detailing her affairs with six lovers, dished out media interviews and worked as a radio DJ.

She said on Wednesday singing was part of her road to recovery and unlikely to become a career.

Taiwan MP poses for Playboy, clothedFebruary 5, 2002
TAIPEI, Taiwan (Reuters) -- A 41-year-old Taiwan legislator posed for Playboy's Chinese-language magazine this month, but kept her clothes on saying she will not bare all until she is 60.

"I'll pose nude at the age of 60 when I'm no longer a politician and don't have to worry about what my constituents will think," Yu Yueh-hsia, a straight-talking divorcee loved by constituents for her earthy language, told Reuters by telephone.

"Taiwanese women are beautiful in our own way. We may not be tall, but we have smooth skin. We don't have freckles," said Yu, who weighs about 55 kg (120 lb) and stands 153 cm (five feet) tall.

Yu said Playboy tried for two years to entice her to pose nude. She finally agreed to an interview only after being persuaded by her 19-year-old daughter.

The February edition of Playboy's Chinese-language magazine devotes 10 pages to the wide-ranging interview with Yu, which includes photographs of her with her two children and aides.

In one of the pictures, she is dressed in a low-cut strapless evening gown, reclining on a sofa and looking up.

In the interview with Playboy, Yu said she used to watch Taiwanese puppet shows followed by Japanese pornographic videos while waiting for her husband, from whom she is now divorced, to come home.
Likes soldiers

Yu, who is extremely popular at the grassroots level, won most votes in the December parliamentary elections in the central agricultural county of Changhua.

She told Playboy that if she was asked to join the cabinet, she wants the defence portfolio because she likes soldiers.

"I feel they're like me -- straightforward and honest," Yu said and broke into laughter.

She drew more laughter at a meeting of the island's biggest opposition party last year when she asked Nationalist Party chairman Lien Chan, who is seen as a weak leader, to "get hard."

Her Playboy debut comes on the heels of another woman politician, Chu Mei-feng, being involved in a sex scandal. Chu was caught on hidden camera having sex with a married lover at her home.

"There are not many cases of Taiwan women doing well in politics," political scientist Chou Yu-shan said.

"Taiwan society still discriminates against women. In Yu Yueh-hsia's case, many consider her a man and she needed to show her feminine side," Chou added.

Political sex video scandal in Taiwan courtFebruary 7, 2002
TAIPEI, Taiwan (Reuters) -- Taiwan prosecutors have charged a former mayor with invading his estranged girlfriend's privacy by secretly filming her making love in the island's most gripping sex scandal.

Chu Mei-feng, 35, a TV reporter-turned politician, became one of the best known women in the Chinese speaking world after a tabloid magazine gave away video discs showing her having sex with a married man at her home.

Prosecutors called for Tsai Jen-chien, 49, former mayor of the northern high-tech city of Hsinchu, to be jailed for a year on charges of violating the island's privacy law and indicted a friend of Chu, who helped him install the hidden camera.

They also indicted the editor of the magazine that gave away the video discs.
"Kuo Yu-ling and Tsai Jen-chien were (Chu's) most trusted friend and lover. But they monitored her most private love life after their relations soured," the prosecutor said.

"It's the most serious offence against privacy," Chen said.
'Right to know'

Chu's close friend, Kuo Yu-ling, 44, installed the hidden camera with Tsai's help, prosecutor Chen Hon-da told a news conference, which was broadcast live by several cable news networks.

The prosecutor said an envious Kuo needed money to send her daughter to school abroad and sold the footage to a tabloid magazine, which mass-produced the sex videos and gave them away free to readers.

Kuo was charged with violating the privacy law, undermining public morality, theft and forgery and Scoop magazine president Shen Yeh was charged with violating the privacy law.

Prosecutors sought a four-year sentence for Kuo, who is in court custody, and 26 months for Shen. His magazine has defended itself, arguing that the people have the right to know.

Prosecutors also found eavesdropping devices and surveillance cameras in Chu's car and office. Tsai had appointed Chu director of Hsinchu's municipal department of cultural affairs.
Golden boy, Jade girl

Tsai, who had been questioned by prosecutors but not detained, denied any involvement in videotaping Chu, his lawyer told reporters after the indictment. The magazine said it did nothing wrong.

In Taiwan, defendants are not necessarily taken into custody until after a judge delivers a guilty verdict.

Tsai, a member of President Chen Shui-bian's independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, lost a re-election bid in last December's mayoral elections.

His affair with Chu, of the tiny pro-reunification New Party, had been the talk of town.

The couple was once touted as the "golden boy and jade girl" of Taiwan politics.

The cabinet's Government Information Office seized thousands of copies of the magazine and accompanying VCDs.

The Chinese-language weekly has called the seizure "preposterous" and said the discs were not pornography but a move to "restore the face of the truth."
Pirated discs

Despite the seizure, pirated VCDs have been widely circulated in Taiwan, China and the United States.

Chu did not deny she was the woman in the VCDs and has apologised to the public.

She was not available for comment after the indictment, but told reporters late on Wednesday after a vacation in Thailand that she wanted to do more good in the future.

"If the society will accept me again, I want to do more good deeds," the Central News Agency quoted Chu as saying.

Chu's new book revealing her relationships with several men, including Tsai, will soon hit local bookshelves.

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