VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – The Chinese film star in a racy photo scandal that showed him in bed with eight of the country’s best-known actresses and singers testified Monday against the person accused of accessing his private laptop, which held the images.

“I’m quite a private person. I enjoy my privacy. I need my privacy,” said the Canadian-born Edison Chen, star of a popular series of Hong Kong action films. “This was never meant for anyone else to see.”

The scandal dominated Hong Kong headlines for weeks last year, and the Chinese government censured the country’s top Internet search engine for allegedly helping spread the photos of the stars apparently performing sex acts or in sexually suggestive poses.

Police say the images were illegally copied from the laptop of Chen, who left show business after apologizing for the scandal.

Chen told a British Columbia Supreme Court justice he noticed his laptop missing when he was moving last year.

He said he was shocked when friends told him the photos had appeared on the Internet in January 2008. Some Web pages featuring the photos received more than 25 million hits, and the feeding frenzy temporarily crashed the Web in Hong Kong.

Chen said when he reported the missing laptop to police, officers showed him two large books filled with the photos.

“Of course I had seen these pictures. I took these pictures. They were in my personal computer,” Chen said.

He said he never intended to let anyone else see them.

Sze Ho-Chun is on trial in China on three counts of obtaining access to a computer with illegal intent.

Chen’s testimony drew dozens of Chinese- and English-language media to the British Columbia courtroom.

The star recently returned to his childhood home of British Columbia.

AP-ES-02-23-09 1537EST


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