A 34-year-old man who was the subject of disturbing Instagram live video clips that circulated last week has mild intellectual disability and attends a special needs school, local media reported Thursday.
Accompanied by his mother, the man said in a police testimony that he was “very scared” during the incident last week in which two Hong Kong Instagram influencers ordered him to take off his clothes and lick a shoe in a Yau Ma Tei hotel room on Sunday evening. They also threatened to whip him with a belt.
The two women, who were livestreaming the incident on Instagram, said the sadistic acts were “revenge” on the man for sending them sexually harassing messages. They were identified as Instagram celebrities Miss Pun and Emilia Wong, both of whom have ignited their fair share of controversy over the racy photos and videos they upload on social media.
When videos from the livestream circulated online, netizens questioned whether the man might be mentally handicapped. They noted his unnatural reactions and what seemed to be a slight speech impediment, and criticized the pair for bullying a disabled person.
But both of them denied this on their social media accounts, writing that the man had acted on his own accord in messaging them, booking a hotel room and paying for it. They said that the man is from Guangzhou and that the “impediment” is just his accent, emphasizing that he had sent them inappropriate messages for “a long time.”
“This Guangzhou man is not mentally handicapped, he is a long-time harasser [of mine], Miss Pun wrote Tuesday on Instagram, adding that he “says everyday that he wants to touch me.”
“If he was really mentally handicapped, police would already have found information about his residential care center and charged me with attacking a handicapped person,” she wrote.
Pun posted shortly after that she was ending her online career as it was taking a heavy toll on her mental health. “My social media accounts will no longer be updated. Everybody can stop paying attention to me. Even if you see me, let’s not recognize each other. I have actually been a private person all along,” she said.
Wong, the other influencer, admitted that she had “slipped” and apologized to those who care about her. But she also reiterated that the man had booked the hotel room and that he is not mentally handicapped.
The pair, as well as a 34-year-old man who was reportedly filming the incident with them, have been arrested on charges of outraging public indecency.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!