Jackie Chan Discusses Being A 'Nasty Jerk' In New Memoir

Jackie Chan may have made his name as the amiable star of comedy action movies such as Rush Hour and Rumble in the Bronx, but now it seems his cheery persona masked a series of dark truths in his private life.

In his memoir Never Grow Up, first released in a Chinese edition in 2015 and now finally published in English, the 64-year-old confesses to experiences with prostitutes, driving 'drunk all the time' and even - most shockingly - an incident of domestic abuse involving his then-two-year-old son.

"I really was quite a nasty jerk," Chan says in the book (via CNN).

Discussing his problems with drinking, he writes: "Going out and drinking every night did start to erode my professionalism. I went through a phase that was known as 'one before lunch, one after lunch'.

"I drunk drove all the time. In the morning, I'd crash my Porsche, then in the evening, I'd total a Mercedes-Benz. All day long, I went around in a haze."

Jackie Chan. Credit: PA
Jackie Chan. Credit: PA

He also goes into detail about an incident that saw him pick up his infant son Jaycee and throw him across the room, following a dispute with his wife.

"I picked him up with one hand and flung him across the room, and he crashed into the sofa," Chan recalls.

"With the amount of force I used, if he'd hit the back or armrests, it could have been quite serious."

He goes on to explain that he 'immediately' regretted his actions, and vowed never to do it again.

"I take my promises seriously, and I'm a man of my word. I never threw him again or hit him," he writes.

However, these were far from the sole extent of his problems.

"Even though I made next to nothing, I spent all my wages on drinking, gambling, and girls," he writes, remembering the excesses of his first flush of fame.

"We all did."

Jackie Chan in Rush Hour. Credit: New Line Cinema
Jackie Chan in Rush Hour. Credit: New Line Cinema

He continues: "I remember the first time I went to a club. I was shy but acted like a big man, anyway. The girl who served me - I knew her as Number Nine - was beautiful, with a sweet personality. On my second visit, I simply asked, 'Is Number Nine here?' And that's how it was every time after that.

"Every night, Number Nine and I would squeeze into her dingy little cubicle, the low ceiling right above us. The room wasn't soundproof either, and we could hear pretty much everything around us, clear as crystal. There were times when I'd notice people trying to peep through the cracks in the door at us. Yet this little cubicle seemed like paradise to me."

Chan had married Taiwanese actress Joan Lin in 1982; however, in 1999, it emerged that he had fathered a child - his daughter Etta - during an affair with one-time beauty queen Elaine Ng. He writes about this incident with typical frankness.

"In 1999, I made a serious mistake," he explains.

"When the news broke about an affair I'd had that resulted in a child, the media frenzy was like a bomb going off. I wanted to phone Joan but I didn't know what to say. I wouldn't be able to explain this."

Explaining the guilt he felt as a result, he also discusses his gratitude towards Joan for standing by him, writing: "She is a strong woman, stronger than I am in many ways."

Famed for his martial arts expertise, as well as a film career that began as a child actor in 1962's Big and Little Wong Tin Bar, Jackie Chan made his name as a stuntman before picking up his first leading role in 14 years later, and eventually making his Hollywood debut with 1980's The Big Brawl.

Back in April, his daughter Etta claimed that she and her girlfriend had become homeless 'due to homophobic parents'. Chan did not respond to the allegations at the time.

Sources: South Morning China Post, CNN

Featured Image Credit: PA

Will Fitzpatrick

Will Fitzpatrick is a Subeditor at LADbible. Will graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BA in English Language and Literature, and has previously worked as music editor at The Skinny North. He has written for a variety of publications including Clash, The Fly, The Line of Best Fit and Razorcake.

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