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Noted actress' sex tape creates ripples in Vietnam

By William Sparrow & Agencies
March 18, 2005

Many Vietnamese media agencies in recent days have published sensational stories about actress cum singer Yen Vy for her involvement in a pornographic film disseminated on the Internet and copied into compact disks for illegal distribution.

Like many other pornographic products, the film contains lewd scenes that are devastating for the country's moral and conservative merits, especially among young viewers. Until this far, no one has determined whether the actress was involved in the filming or was just a victim of others who did the act without her knowledge.

In her explanations to the media, the 27-year-old Yen Vy says she is a victim of what she says was blackmail. She claims the film was a record of an affair with her lover while the two were in still in love five years ago.

Yen Vy and her ex-lover later separated, and the man got married to another actress. About one month ago, according to Thanh Nien (Youth) newspaper, the man phoned her, seeking to rekindle the relationship as his marriage had collapsed, only to be refused by Yen Vy. The man then threatened to do great damage to Yen Vy's career and reputation for refusing his advances, and the subsequent release of the 30-minute film on the Internet, according to the actress, is an act of revenge by her spurned ex-lover.

Phap Luat (Law) newspaper reported the same story, and included details confirmed by police that Yen Vy has filed formal complaints. Yen Vy told the newspaper the camera may have been hidden in a corner of the room without her knowledge.

However, this is not the first time pornographic pictures of models or actresses are launched onto the Internet, and this is the reason why the incident surrounding Yen Vy absorbs special scrutiny from the public in general and authorities in particular.

As Asian Sex Gazette reported on February 22, over the past several months, many public icons have been put in the spotlight, including singer Nguyen Hong Nhung, models Bao Hoa and Ho Ngoc Ha, and several others. Therefore, apart from offenses of individual privacy as may be the case of Yen Vy, many fear that the phenomenon has become trendy among many stars, using such images to promote themselves.

Film director Do Phu Hai, speaking with Nguoi Lao Dong (Labourers) newspaper, says he is saddened by the incident involving Yen Vy. "All those involved in such (evil) phenomena should be sympathized with, but they also are to blame," he says.

Nguyen The Thanh, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Culture and Information, says artists should be held responsible for what they have done.

"A number of artists or individuals like to expose their own naked bodies before the camera. That is their right, but when their privacy is exposed to the public, that is the price to pay. They have to pay the price for their choice of a way of living," Nguoi Lao Dong quoted Thanh as saying.

She also added that the artist is mandated with a moral mission, and their acts will have an impact on the public.

While the public is keeping a wait-and-see attitude, there has been widespread consensus that those making the pornographic films and publicizing them on the Internet should be severely punished; as such an act does great harm to the society.

Thanh Nien newspaper says authorities now must take heavy-handed measures to put a check on the new crime of disseminating pornographic pictures. Such a crime is eroding the common value of the society and put the victim's life in great tragedy and danger.

Phap Luat, meanwhile, stresses that the launch of such lewd pictures on the Internet must be harshly punished. The paper said in an editorial that it does not intend to protect any specific individuals who have immoral acts on the film, but that the media organization as a public agency is mandated to help promote rule of the law. "That [this practice] is a crime, and crime must invite punishment."

Until now, despite the numerous cases relating to the launch of pornographic pictures on the net, no formal charge has been filed against anyone.

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Vietnamese models use the Internet, nude photos to gain market share

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