Who: Teenager Hoang Thuy Linh, who starred as a virtuous high school girl in the popular TV series "Vang Anh's Diaries."
What: A blurry yet racy video of the 19 year old Thuy Linh in bed with her former boyfriend hit the web in 2007, shocking fans and the rest of conservative Vietnam.
The morning after: It remains the biggest 'virtual scandal' in Vietnamese history. Outrage and criticism from the public and the media caused VTV to promptly pull the plug on the show. But not before Thuy Linh's televised apology: “I made a mistake, a terrible mistake,” she said in her on-air farewell, as the show was dumped. “I apologize to you, my parents, my teachers and my friends.”
Despite the similarities to the Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian sex tapes sagas, for Thuy Linh it seemed to spell the end of her promising career.
But according to the New York Times last year, Thuy Linh was able to turn her bad publicity into a career opportunity.
She transformed her public image from innocent to sexy and is now much in demand for fashion shows, television appearances and advertising, the Times reported Khuat Thu Hong, co-director of the Institute for Social Development Studies in Hanoi, as saying.
And this is leading other Vietnamese actresses and entertainers to post more raunchy images of themselves on the Internet and challenge the country's more conservative values.