172 days after he was released from the prison, Hong Kong singer-actor Jaycee Chan spoke about the six months that he spent in jail during a media interview yesterday. The 32-year-old was arrested in his Beijing apartment for drug offences last August.
As it has been a long time since he faced the cameras, Jaycee was so nervous that he was unable to sleep properly the night before. His expressions were also very stiff during the photo-taking session.
Accompanied by his mother Lin Feng-jiao, Jaycee has been living in Taipei ever since he finished serving his sentence. On the day that Jaycee returned home, his father Jackie Chan did not show his anger and simply gave him a big hug. Although Feng-jiao, who looked haggard after the tumultuous episode, was on the brink of tears, she did not cry in front of her son.
In his interview, Jaycee admitted that he felt indignant about the different laws pertaining to marijuana in Asia and Western countries during the first week of imprisonment. After talking to his inmates, the singer gradually realised his mistakes and he would think about “what do I want in life” every day.
When he was let out of the cell for exercise for the first time, Jaycee saw an elderly inmate who squatted at a corner of the small balcony. The sight of the inmate shaking off his dandruff and peeling the dead skin on his feet worried Jaycee that he might become “mentally unstable” too. As it turned out, the old man was “feeding the ants with his dandruff and dead skin”.
For safety reasons, prison lights are turned on 24/7 which caused Jaycee to have a tough time falling asleep in the beginning. During his “free time”, the singer would “kill mosquitoes to feed spiders in the toilet” or “stick the mosquitoes on the wall to gauge wind direction”.
His diet mostly consisted of buns coupled with eggs or cabbage. However, he only took a few bites each time because he was “afraid of gaining weight”. Occasionally, he would buy cup noodles when he got sick of prison food. Jaycee read several books over the six months, including eight by American business magnate Warren Buffett. He would record his daily life in words and compile them into a letter for his mother. In addition, he wrote the outlines of two scripts and four songs which impressed his father. “You learned quite a bit in there,” Jackie said.
According to Jaycee, the officers followed standard procedures and did not give him any preferential treatment because of his father. Jaycee had to strip for an X-ray scan before changing into prison clothes and was not allocated a solo cell. He recalled having to squeeze in one room with 10 people at one point in time too.
When he was first released from prison, Jaycee wore a face mask whenever he went out as he was very self-conscious. But now, he is more concerned about “giving trouble to his friends”. The singer would also prepare an extra mask for Kai Ko, who was arrested together with him back then, during their meet-ups. “We paid a price [for our mistakes] and we will work hard to stand up again,” Jaycee reiterated, while adding that he believes the fans who likes him will continue supporting him.