Sketchy things everyone just ignores about Jackie Chan's kids
As a talented young martial artist with a complete disregard for personal safety, Jackie Chan quickly carved out a reputation as a fearless action star in his early days as an actor, almost killing himself performing high-risk stunts on several occasions. He became best known for his family-friendly brand of action comedy in Hollywood, and so his image in the West has always been pretty PG. But in his native Hong Kong the actor (and occasional recording artist) is no stranger to scandal.
Chan is well-liked by Hong Kong's media (they affectionately refer to him as "Big Brother,") but that doesn't mean they won't report on the darker aspects of his life, and that includes the tumultuous relationship he has with his two children. Son Jaycee Chan and daughter Etta Ng are famous in their own right throughout China simply for being the progeny of one of the nation's biggest stars, but when the kids make their own headlines, they are rarely positive. From drug busts to attempted suicides, these are the sketchy things everyone just ignores about Chan and his children.
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Born in Los Angeles in December 1982, Jaycee was—in his father's own words—an accident. The Rush Hour star revealed during a recently resurfaced interview with China Press (via Asia One) that his first-born was conceived by mistake and that he was pressured into marriage because of it.
"It was an accident which conceived Jaycee," Jackie said. "I have never thought of getting married, but I felt it was akin to being forced to get married."
In his 2015 tell-all book Jackie Chan: Never Grow Up, Only Get Older, he revealed that he sent girlfriend Joan Lin (a Taiwanese actress who appeared in more than 60 feature films throughout the 1970s) to the United States to keep her pregnancy a secret from the media at home. The pair wed in secret in a Los Angeles coffee shop just before Jaycee was born. "It was still noisy and people could be heard talking next door," Chan said of the makeshift ceremony. "The pastor asked, 'Are you willing? We nodded our heads. It was over and done with, just like this."Heavyweights star Joseph Wayne Miller dead at 36
He's estranged from his love child daughter
Jackie said his marriage to Lin started to lose its spark in the years following their impromptu nuptials, which led him to stray. The actor admitted to having "many girlfriends" while still in wedlock, which Lin was reportedly willing to turn a blind eye to until she found out that one of his mistresses was pregnant.
Jackie met former Miss Asia Elaine Ng in 1998, and the two started seeing each other on the down low. The whole affair was blown wide open when she gave birth to a daughter, Etta.David Cassidy is in critical condition
While Lin found it in herself to give her husband a pass for cheating (Chan's excuse was that he "only committed a fault that every single man in the world commits,") his estranged daughter has not been as forgiving. "He is not my dad," Etta is quoted as saying by The Express. "I have no feelings for him. He is my biological father but he is not in my life."
For years, Jackie flat-out refused to discuss or even acknowledge Etta, but in 2015, his stance started to soften, suggesting they might one day reconcile. "Sometimes it is better to not talk about certain things," he said. "Let nature take its course."
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Jackie is one movie industry's top earners. According to Forbes, he's the fifth highest paid actor in 2017 (down three places from 2015, when he was in the No. 1 spot,) with the majority of his cash coming from his work in his native country. According to the Gazette Review, the star has a net worth of $395 million, but his kids won't be seeing a dime of it.
For years, Jackie asserted that he was going to leave half of everything he had to Jaycee, but in 2011, he had a change of heart and decided to give it all to charity instead. "If he is capable, he can make his own money," Jackie said at an awards ceremony (via Metro). "If he is not, then he will just be wasting my money."
Jackie, who celebrated his 63rd birthday in 2017, knows from experience that money can corrupt. In his book (excerpted by the Los Angeles Times), he revealed that after making it big, he went out with $64,000 in cash and bought the seven most expensive watches he could find. "For one whole week, I wore a different watch every day," he recalled. "I would make arrangements to meet my friends of the same occupation to eat and rolled up my sleeves to expose the watch as soon as we met."George Takei sorry for jokes about assault
His son was jailed on drugs charges
In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a crackdown on drug use among the rich and famous and ordered a series of raids in the capital, Beijing. One of the properties busted during the operation belonged to Jaycee, who was reportedly enjoying an evening at home with a group of friends that included fellow actor Kai Ko when the authorities arrived. Unfortunately for Jaycee (who cooperated fully during the search,) officers found more than 100 grams of marijuana in his safe. The superstar's son was jailed for six months.
Jackie had been named an official Narcotics Control Ambassador for the Chinese police in 2009, so the circumstances of Jaycee's crime were particularly embarrassing for the elder Chan. "With regards to the incident involving my son Jaycee, I am very angry and shocked," he said on Weibo (via BBC). "As a public figure, I am ashamed. As a father, I am very sad and his mother is heartbroken."Harry ‘taps William to be best man’
While Jaycee reportedly did test positive for marijuana at the scene, the fact that he provided "a shelter for others to abuse drugs" was the more serious offence in the eyes of the authorities. Ko, who also tested positive for the drug, was reportedly released after 14 days.
Jackie didn't show up for the trial
Despite a very public shaming from his dad, Jaycee could at least count on his support during the hard times to come, right?What Meghan Markle was like before the fame
Wrong. "If you have done something wrong, you must bear the consequences," Jackie said after it became clear that his son was facing jail time. The actor added that he was "willing to face the road ahead" with his son. When it came to the first step in that road, however, Jaycee's parents were nowhere to be seen.
Jackie and Lin's absence from Jaycee's trial fueled plenty of gossip among local media. According to ChinaTopix, Jackie was actually in Beijing the same day his son was in court, though his hectic work schedule supposedly prevented him from attended. Jaycee's friend, Eric Tsang, reportedly told the press that Lin chose not to attend the trial because flying all the way to the capital was just too much of an inconvenience.
In the end, Jaycee appeared in court with representative from his management company as his only support. A report from CNN confirmed Jackie was a no-show and suggested that Jaycee cut a remorseful figure in the courtroom, respectfully bowing to the judge and prosecutor after his 90-minute trial concluded.Prince Philip’s stunning ‘terrorist’ gaffe
Jackie didn't visit his son behind bars, either
The maximum sentence that could have been handed down to Jaycee was reportedly three years, so when he was sentenced to six months detention, there were some in China who believed his father's status might have inspired leniency from the court. According to Jaycee, nothing could be further from the truth. Upon release, Jaycee revealed that his dad didn't intervene in his trial at any stage and that his parents didn't even visit him in prison.
"I do not wish them to see me suffer," Jaycee said in a press conference (via the South China Morning Post). "Nobody would've wished to see their family members suffer. I made a mistake and I should shoulder it on my own. I don't want my mistakes to affect my father. I must apologise for my own mistakes." During his televised interview, Jaycee said, "As a public figure, this incident has brought a negative impact on society. From now, I must live the life of a lawful citizen."Gomer Pyle star Jim Nabors dead at 87
The child abuse allegations
Etta became a topic of fascination in China from the moment she was born in 1999–dubbed "Little Dragon Girl" by the press. The action star had already ended things with Etta's mother at this point, and Elaine and Etta eventually left the mainland for Hong Kong, where they lived their own lives away from Jackie and the spotlight. That wasn't the end of their tangles with the media, however.
Etta and Elaine proved they were perfectly capable of making headlines on their own. Their rocky mother-daughter relationship peppered Hong Kong press. Just a few months after Jaycee's drug arrest, the South China Morning Post reported that Elaine had been arrested after allegations of child cruelty were passed to police by school staff. While Etta wasn't named as the complainant for legal reasons, her mother confirmed it was her daughter who had reported her.Aziz Ansari responds to sexual assault allegations
"Children are sometimes naughty, and they do something wrong when they are naughty," Elaine told reporters from behind the blinds of her home after being released without charge. "I think adults can deal with these things."
Jackie himself admitted that he hit Jaycee as a child. "I've always believed kids need to be smacked to be disciplined," he wrote in his book (via the Los Angeles Times.) "If you only speak to a kid about it, he won't listen."
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In April 2017, stories circulated claiming Etta had made an attempt on her own life. The International Business Times picked up on a number of articles published in Chinese dailies alleging Jackie's daughter had made an unsuccessful suicide attempt while in Thailand, reportedly cutting her vacation short and returning to Hong Kong where she immediately checked into a hospital for treatment.
Before she and her mother left China for their family getaway, Etta had updated her Facebook status with what people later realized was likely a cry for help. "Leaving HK for a bit tomorrow," she is quoted as saying by Next Shark. "I'm still alive, for those who are wondering." Further investigation into the 17-year-old's social media revealed that she had shared a number articles discussing depression in the run-up to her hospitalization.
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Six months after her supposed suicide attempt, Etta was out of the hospital and in love. Her name has been all over Chinese news outlets in 2017, not because of her recovery from depression, but because of the gender of the person who helped her through it. Etta came out as gay in an Instagram post, and her girlfriend (Canadian Instagram influencer Andi Autumn) confirmed their relationship, thanking followers for their love and support.
Etta posted a thank you of her own, telling her followers that she was "speechless" at the love they'd received. "People all over the world have been rooting us on as Hong Kong media continues to mock," she wrote. "I've grown up in a world of negativity and close mindedness but I am at that point where I realise that I can use my experience to tell my truths and help others just like me. Thankfully I've grown since the days I was powerless and uncertain what the world has for me. Thank you for the enormous outpour of love and acceptance."
Jackie was asked what he thought about his daughter coming out while he was promoting his action thriller The Foreigner. His less than enthusiastic response hasn't gone down well. According to Hong Kong celebrity news website Jayne Stars, the actor came across as "indifferent" with his short reply: "If she likes it, that's fine."Meghan’s crash course in royal etiquette
Etta reportedly burgled her mother's house
Just a few weeks after Etta made her relationship public, she was kicking up bad press again in Hong Kong–this time accused of burgling her mother's home. According to local news reports translated by Coconuts Hong Kong, items including clothing, jewelry, and two guitars worth a total $22,000 were taken from Elaine's house without her consent, and as there was no sign of forced entry, officers suspected it was an inside job. Etta reportedly came forward and admitted to taking the items, but not to stealing them.
The teen told Chinese newspaper Ming Pao (via MSN) that she simply let herself in to collect some of her old belongings. Etta said the whole thing was a big misunderstanding, claiming that she talked to her mom about the items before taking the. "I told her that I was going to go on a trip for a few days so I needed to get some clothes. So I went inside, because I have a key to the place, she gave it to me. She hasn't changed the locks or locked the doors, so I thought that was okay… I told her 'If there's anything you want back, I'll give it to you, no problem.'"Meghan’s first event: the verdict
Her mother doesn't quite see it that way, however. Elaine told reporters that the matter was "being handled by social workers" and police were reviewing her CCTV footage.