HONG KONG singer-actor Edison Chen, who quit showbiz last week in the wake of the sex photo scandal fallout, proposed to his girlfriend Vincy Yeung four times to try to get protection from triad revenge, a Hollywood gossip website has reported.
Yeung, 19, is a university student in Boston in the US. Her uncle is chairman of the Emperor Group of companies.
She and Chen have been dating since 2004 and came out as a couple in 2006. He once said that he would marry her when he earned US$20 million (S$28.3 million).
Some members of Yeung's triad family want Chen dead after explicit photographs of Edison with actresses and pop stars were plastered across the Internet over the past few weeks. But other members are trying to protect the Canadian-born actor, who went into hiding in Boston.
A report in hollywoodgrind.com on Feb 23 said Chen had hoped that marrying Yeung would show that he has changed into a family man, and is no longer a sex maniac and womaniser.
But Yeung apparently turned down his marriage proposal after discussing the issue with her family.
Some earlier reports said Chen threatened to slit his wrists if Yeung did not marry him, but these have been denied by the actor.
The Hollywoodgrind report also said that Yeung's family had suggested to Chen that he seek treatment for his addiction to sex, whch he did so.
He is said to have checked into a rehabilitation centre in Utah, but left after a few days when he was attacked by several of the other male residents in the place in a parking lot during a break. The group of men threatened, kicked, and punched him. Edison left immediately and travelled to Vancouver, British Columbia, to stay with his mother.
Chen then flew to California to meet movie executives in Hollywood to try and get work in upcoming movies. During this time, he started negotiating with police in Hong Kong to avoid prosecution, and for protection, before returning to Hong Kong.
He returned to Boston to see Yeung one last time before returning to Hong Kong on Feb 21 to face the media.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the scandal broke, Chen admitted taking the photos but said they had been stolen from him. Canadian-born Chen, 27, said he had returned to Hong Kong to account for himself.
'I would like now to apologise to all the people for all the suffering that has been caused and the problems that have arisen from this,' he said, reading a statement in English to a packed press conference.
'I would like to apologise to all the ladies and to all their families for any harm or hurt that they have been feeling. I am sorry,' he said.
The racy photos which purportedly show him in compromising positions with various celebrities, including Canto-pop star Gillian Chung, actress Cecilia Cheung and former actress Bobo Chan, were copied from Chen's computer when he sent it in for repairs.