Beijing: Hong Kong film star Simon Yam is recovering in hospital after being stabbed in the stomach while on stage for a promotional event in southern China, state media said.
Yam, 64, is currently in an intensive care unit in Hong Kong after undergoing surgery and “remains in critical condition”, said state-run Global Times.
The veteran actor was stabbed by a man wielding a fruit knife on Saturday during a promotional event in Zhongshan, southern Guangdong province.
The attacker ran onto the stage and stabbed and slashed at Yam while he was on stage, video broadcast on local media showed.
The suspect – a 53-year-old surnamed Chen – suffers from schizophrenia, they added, citing a mental health assessment conducted after he was taken into police custody.
Yam has cancelled all work appointments following the knife attack, according to the state-run China Daily.
“We are extremely shocked by this incident,” Yam’s management company said in a Weibo statement on Saturday.
The Hong Kong actor has over 200 film and TV credits to his name, according to IMDB, including an appearance as a crime lord in the 2003 adventure movie Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
Yam’s supermodel-wife Qi Qi posted yesterday that the Hong Kong actor is recovering and “doing well” and his family is “cheering him on”, she added.
While fans can now breathe a sigh of relief, attention now switches to the 53-year-old attacker, who has been detained by the police, and his motives.
Talk has it that Yam was mistaken for another person whom the attacker had grievances against.
According to the on.cc portal, the attacker is said to be mentally unstable and that he had planned the strike for some time.
The incident has puzzled everyone, given that Yam has a reputation for being a nice guy and is not known to have enemies in show business.
He is also scandal-free, devoted to his wife and their daughter.
But knife attacks are not uncommon in China, where violent crime has been on the rise in recent decades as the nation’s economy has boomed and the gap between rich and poor has widened rapidly.
Studies have also described a rise in the prevalence of mental disorders, some of them linked to stress as the pace of life becomes faster and support systems wither.
Last October, a woman attacked and injured 14 children with a knife at a kindergarten in China’s southwestern Sichuan province. — AFP