Edison Chen said many people “washed their hands off me and said they didn’t know me” after intimate photographs of him with Hong Kong actresses such as Gillian Chung and Cecilia Cheung were leaked in 2008.
A decade later, Chen, 38, who acted in box-office hits Infernal Affairs (2002) and Initial D (2005), is proving that he can bounce back and have the last laugh.
His fashion business – built up largely out of the public eye – is giving him clout again, with his label Clot even getting invitations to participate in the New York and Paris fashion weeks this year.
Clot, which he started 15 years ago with a friend, is stocked by retailers such as Harrods, Dover Street Market and, soon, Selfridges.
The label has racked up prestigious tie-ups with shoe giant Nike and rapper Kanye West.
Chen said in an interview recently: “What’s important to us is to be recognised by the world that we are a Chinese brand but we work with the best company.”
His business savvy has also been tapped by academics to inspire young people.
Last year, he spoke at a United States-China Entrepreneurship Business Forum held at New York University.
Chen, who was known for his hard partying a decade ago, is now a family man.
Last year, his model-girlfriend Qin Shupei, 28, gave birth to his first child, a girl named Alaia.
In 2016, he made headlines after he stood up for Qin, berating Taiwanese superstar model Chiling Lin for trying to get Qin booted out of a fashion reality show for Shanghai’s Dragon TV.
Now, he wants to be a rock for Alaia too.
“I’m trying to be a good father. I don’t know how to exactly define that, but I just want to spend as much time and guide my child as much as possible. Money can’t replace the feeling of seeing (her) walk or speak for the first time.”
The effort is paying off.
“It’s interesting to see how having a family affects people’s view of you.
“(Recently), Ralph Lauren saw me and asked: ‘Where’s your daughter?’
“And I said: ‘I’m here (and you want to talk about her), what’s up?’ He seems to like my daughter a lot.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network