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Family confirms entertainer Cindy victimized by online bullying

2015/04/23 11:46:58

Taipei, April 23 (CNA) Model and actress Cindy (楊又穎), who committed suicide earlier this week, was a victim of online bullies, her older brother said Thursday.

For the past few months, Cindy's family accompanied her on visits to various clinics and hospitals in a failed attempt to help her get over the anonymous online libel that had targeted her, said her brother.

Cindy was troubled by her suspicions that those who were spreading rumors about her might have been her close friends, he said, adding that she did not know who to trust.

Citing a suicide note found next to her body Tuesday, he said that Cindy hoped her death could help highlight the dreadful power of verbal bullying.

People should not take the messages they leave online lightly and should not become "an accomplice in verbal bullying," he said.

Cindy's brother did not want the media to identify him by name.

A beautiful entertainer with a promising career, Cindy was found dead at her residence in Taichung. She was 24. The note and a metal canister reportedly containing helium were found beside her body.

She was one of the hosts of the variety show "Love Player (愛玩咖)" between 2011 and 2013 and made her movie debut in "First of May (五月一號)," which is due to be released next month.

Her real name was Peng Hsin-yi (彭馨逸) and she was the daughter of Peng Tso-kwei (彭作奎), who served as minister of the Council of Agriculture from 1997 to 1999.

Speaking to reporters, Cindy's brother said that it is the bereaved family's hope not to try to identify those who had bullied his sister. The family only hopes that her death will make more people denounce anonymous online libel, he said.

The news of Cindy's death shocked and saddened her fans as well as many other entertainers, who have expressed an outpouring of sympathy in addition to outrage over online bullying.

Much of the abuse targeting Cindy has appeared on a Facebook page that is not associated with any particular person but operates like a blog or a forum.

Many of the posts do not mention Cindy by name but instead use Chinese characters that sound like "Cindy Yang." Her stage name in Chinese was Yang Yo-ying.

The posts apparently targeting Cindy call her phony, naive and hypocritical, among other things.

(By Liao Jen-kai and Jay Chen)
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