IS HONG Kong actress Carina Lau's story about getting kidnapped by triad members a hoax?
That is the buzz in the Chinese entertainment media scene at the moment.
Even though the incident took place 18 years ago, the story is still generating a cauldron of emotions, ranging from sympathy to scepticism.
Lau had told novelist Eunice Lam about her run-in with triad members and that story was published last Friday in Chinese paper Nanfang Daily.
The actress spoke about her traumatic experience in April 1990, when she was kidnapped by triad members and photographed naked after she refused to act in amovie the triad was involved in.
In the interview, Lau, 42, said she was abducted as she was driving to actor Michael Miu Kiu Wai's house. She was forced to strip and was photographed nude before being released several hours later unhurt.
In 2002, pictures taken during the incident were leaked and one was published on the cover of a magazine, causing a sensation in Hong Kong's showbiz scene.
Lau later ended up shooting a film for free for her abductors.
But for detractors, the story seems a little dubious.
First, it came just before her wedding to long-time boyfriend Tony Leung, 46, in October - at a time when one would think Lau would not want any negative press to surround her.
Lau was also reportedly supposed to issue an official statement confirming all the facts in Ms Lam's story. That statement never arrived.
When contacted by the media, Lau's personal assistant confirmed that Lau had indeed been interviewed by Ms Lam, but could not comment as she had not been paying attention to the discussion.
Lau's management company, Project House Artist Management, said that they had not heard from Lau about releasing a statement.
Still, there are many showbiz veterans backing Lau up, applauding her decision to tell her side of the story.
Actress Sandra Ng, who was invited to Miu's house the night of Lau's kidnapping, says that every word is true.
"She is the daring woman of the century," said Ng, applauding Lau's decision to spill the beans.
"The fact that Lau is speaking up about the kidnapping proves she can now let go."
Actor Eric Tsang said: "She chose to reveal all before her wedding. That proves the hurt she suffered from the ordeal has finally been released."
As for news on her wedding, director Wong Kar-Wai is said to be acting as "chief curator" for the event, the Oriental Morning Post reported yesterday.
Leung also reportedly wanted to invite actress Maggie Cheung, but Lau, said to be in charge of most of the wedding details, is rumoured to have struck her off the list.
Leung and Cheung reportedly got very close in 1999 when they were shooting In The Mood For Love and again in 2001 when shooting Hero.
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