Hong Kong’s Harvey Weinstein? Rape allegations surface against Eric Tsang

Society & Culture

Yammie Lam 蓝洁瑛, a former Hong Kong actress who left the world of show business in 2004, returned to public attention on Wednesday after an old video surfaced on the internet of her saying that two big names in Hong Kong’s entertainment industry had raped her decades ago. The men are Alan Tang 邓光荣 and Eric Tsang 曾志伟.

(Youku version here.)

The video was filmed and released by the Hong Kong-based gossip magazine Next Magazine in 2013. In the clip, a paparazzo asks Lam if Tang had raped her:

Lam: Why would I lie to you? It happened about 20 or 30 years ago.
Paparazzo: Why did Tsang rape you?
Lam: I thought he was drunk and probably possessed by a demon at that moment.

Lam said it happened in Singapore. She added that she attempted suicide several times afterwards.

The news made some headlines in 2013, but the original video, which has been viewed nearly 2.3 million times on YouTube, concealed the offenders’ names, which caused some speculation in subsequent years. In 2014, Hong Kong-based media personality and businessman Xiao Ruoyuan 萧若元, a.k.a. Stephen Shiu Yeuk-yuen, disclosed that the two suspects were Alan Tang, who died in 2011 of a heart attack, and Eric Tsang, who is still acting and producing films, and enjoying an A-list lifestyle in Hong Kong.

The video that was circulated today confirmed that Tsang and Tang were the alleged rapists.

Translation of Chinese caption: “Yammie Lam: Is he the sexual abuser?” Pictured on the left: Eric Tsang
Translation of Chinese caption: “Yammie Lam painfully admits being raped by two ‘big brothers’ in the film industry”

In the afternoon of January 10, Tsang published an announcement (in Chinese) on his Weibo account, denying the accusation and saying that he would pursue legal action against those who further spread the rumor.

In response, Han Yinghua 韩颖华, former Asia Pacific president of the U.S.-based Ford Modeling Agency, spoke up (in Chinese) on her Weibo account, saying that Lam is not the only victim of Tsang’s sexually predatory behavior:

“This trash has sexually assaulted female entertainers for more than once. Everyone in showbiz knows it,” Han wrote.

She also told a story of one of her models being invited by Tsang to a karaoke bar while in Hong Kong. Tsang allegedly spiked her drinks with drugs when she went to the bathroom.

Eric Tsang with models

This is not the first time that Tsang has been accused of sexual predation. In 1989, when Tsang directed and starred in the film Fatal Vacation 安乐战场, there were rumors (in Chinese) that he made real moves on an actress while acting out a rape scene. When filming wrapped, the female art director denounced Tsang. The scene was deleted from the original movie.

Rape scene that got uncomfortably real in Eric Tsang’s film “Fatal Vacation”

So far, there’s been no response from Lam, who has been out of the public eye for more than 10 years, but she was once called one of the five “Dragon Girls” at Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), a popular Hong Kong channel, for her performances in hit shows such as The Greed of Man 大时代 and films such as A Chinese Odyssey 大话西游.

Yammie Lam (left) in the film A Chinese Odyssey 大话西游 with Stephen Chow 周星驰
Yammie Lam in her twenties
Lam (second from the right) with the other four “Dragon Girls”

Lam’s acting fizzled out in the mid-1990s as she suffered from worsening mental disorders. In 2006, she declared bankrupt and since then has been living on state monthly welfare of HK$3,700 ($473). In 2007, she was spotted wandering around alone on the streets, smoking heavily, wearing a nightgown.

Lam in 2007