Jackie Chan’s son apologizes after release from jail

Published 5:00 pm Sunday, February 15, 2015

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BEIJING (AP) — The son of actor Jackie Chan apologized to the public Saturday and asked for a second chance following his release from a six-month jail sentence for allowing people to use marijuana in his apartment.

Jaycee Chan, 32, said at a news conference that he was rededicating himself to his family and entertainment business career. He said he had “no reason, no excuse” for the behavior that led to his arrest in August alongside Taiwanese actor Ko Kai and others.

“After this correction by the justice system, I have changed my outlook on life and my values,” Chan said.

Chan and Ko tested positive for marijuana, and police seized more than 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of the drug from his Beijing apartment. He could have been sentenced to up to three years, but was shown leniency by the court for having come clean with his law breaking.

Chan’s news conference was broadcast live on Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, illustrating the propaganda value Beijing hopes to gain from the high-profile case amid a sweeping anti-drugs crackdown.

Over the first half of last year, Beijing saw a 53-percent rise in drug investigations in the city to more than 1,800 cases. More than 8,400 suspects have been detained during that time, an increase of 79 percent over the same period last year.

Chan, whose mother is former Taiwanese actress Lin Feng-jiao, was raised in Los Angeles and has appeared in about 20 films, most of them low-budget Hong Kong and mainland Chinese productions.

Jackie Chan has publicly apologized for his son’s drug use and pledged to work with him on his recovery. The incident was sensitive for him because of his status as a Chinese anti-drugs ambassador and deputy to the national legislature’s main consultative body.

Jaycee Chan said his father did not intervene on his behalf and that he received no special treatment in prison, where conditions were “quite harsh.”

Speaking slowly in a quiet voice, he said he’d first encountered marijuana eight years earlier on a trip to the Netherlands, but only became a regular user about two years ago.

“I’m very ashamed that I haven’t been a good role model,” Chan said. “I want to start again, but I know that it’s the mass media that will decide.”

Chan’s arrest put his entertainment career in jeopardy, with several Chinese management companies saying they would refuse to employ celebrities caught using drugs. While professing his love for show business, Chan said he was now focused on spending time with his parents over next week’s Lunar New Year holiday.