SINGAPORE, April 5, 2009 - Despite being a "little bit afraid" scandal-hit Asian pop star Edison Chen braved a death threat to appear in public in Singapore on Sunday to promote a movie called "The Sniper".
His appearance came less than a month after a Hong Kong television station received an anonymous letter packed together with a gold bullet warning Chen to stay away from public events if he valued his life.
"If I say I'm not fearful, I would be lying," the 28-year-old told a packed and tightly guarded media conference at a hotel in Singapore.
"I'm a little afraid but I have to do what needs to be done (to promote the film) so I hope everyone will welcome me and watch my movie," he said, referring to the crime thriller "The Sniper" directed by Hong Kong film director Dante Lam.
About 20 security personnel, including four uniformed private guards armed with handguns, were at the media conference venue.
The actor-singer had been one of Asia's biggest entertainment stars until he fell into disgrace after photos he took of his sexual encounters with a string of female celebrities were plastered across the Internet last year.
Chen, 28, was wearing a dark shirt with the top button off, and there were no visible signs he was wearing a bullet proof vest, an AFP reporter said.
Hong Kong triads have allegedly offered a 110,000 US dollar reward for the star's right hand, according to Hong Kong media reports.
Chen at the news conference thanked Singapore for welcoming him and said he hopes to resume his career in Hong Kong.
"I hope to be able to continue (working) in the Hong Kong movie industry but I'm taking things slowly for now," he said. "I will be brave to face whatever mistakes I've made."
The sex photos taken by Chen became an Internet sensation when they were posted online, forcing him into early retirement and sending him fleeing to his childhood home of Canada.
The pictures showed Chen in compromising positions with various celebrities, including Canto-pop star Gillian Chung, actress Cecilia Cheung and former actress Bobo Chan.
Chen has said the photos had been stored on a personal laptop computer that had gone missing. He believed the release of the photos was due to "some foul play" by employees at a Hong Kong computer store.