Whatever Happened to Annabel Chong?

Does anybody even remember Annabel Chong? She’s the one that Cliff was referring to when he said, “Everybody knows her.” She was the ‘actress’ whose career was documented in that famous documentary “Sex: The Annabel Chong Story”. You must remember her now? She stared in that cultural breakthrough, “The World’s Biggest Gangbang”. But then in 2003 when a Vancouver porn dealer told me that he couldn’t help me find the movie because there were so many different movies with the same name, I had to clear this one up. Annabel Chong was the star of the very first one of the movies by this name: the first movie called the World’s Biggest Gangbang. That’s right, this means she started it all.

Grace Quek (That’s her real name) started this all with what now seems like a tiny number. She claimed only 251 men, having been forced to stop when she cut herself. More recent attempts at her record quote huge numbers. Within months, Jasmine St. Claire was claiming 300 men. Now even that seems paltry. Hundreds more are claimed now; 400, 500, the minds spins at the thought. It took Grace 10 hours to do her 251 guys, how can anyone do 500?

It’s all in how they did it. If you watch Annabel Chong, it’s a free-for-all. It’s no surprise that she never got paid or that the producers didn’t keep their promise about protecting her from AIDS. It looks more like a party with a motorcycle gang than a movie. If you compare it with any of the other movies, they look like well choreographed dances. The difference is that Grace Quek did get gangbanged. She got treated like the town slut. There was no movie: 251 guys passed her around, and there was a camera running.

But what’s she doing now? After she got gangbanged, she did a host of interviews for alternative magazines. And then, following an appearance on the Jerry Springer Show, she was involved in a documentary about her life. The one thing that sticks out in her appearances is the repeated claim that porn stars have an intellectual side — or at least some of them — like her, I guess. After all, she did graduate from the University of Southern California and study in a whole bunch of other places. The documentary has her speaking at the Cambridge University Debating Club. All of this was years ago. The documentary was released in 1999, and the ‘event’ itself happened in 1995. What’s Grace been doing since then to demonstrate to us that she is more than just a messed young girl who let a lot of guys bang her while a camera was running?

The answer to this is not so clear—at least not from the Internet. Typing her name into the Internet was very revealing. When I first did this search back in 2005, I found several commercial sites using her name to sponsor products. Some sites took me through a catalog of her movies. It is not altogether clear whether Grace got any benefit from this though. I found bio information that has her being born in China, which is incorrect. Another site claimed to be the“official web site”. Interestingly, this site began with the question, “Whatever happened to Annabel Chong?” It stated that Annabel is bored with the porn industry and now works as a “web developer and consultant”. It claimed she makes “a pretty decent living” doing this sort of work and quoted major American literary figures to show that talent and genius is found in all kinds of unexpected places. There was even a link to a page that allowed you to order an autographed version of her now infamous movie.

I looked at all this and I thought to myself, why isn’t she writing books? Why didn’t she get that doctorate that she once claimed she wanted? Why is she hiding behind an anonymous website working in the newest of home industries? She could be keeping the promise she made to her mother in Singapore as the cameras whirled to leave the porn industry.

And then again, she may have been just one screwed girl who couldn’t tell the difference between being wild and being crazy. I’d have to say that I’ve read a lot of interviews with her, and even though she’s fond of quoting French philosophers, I was never impressed with her intellect. Maybe porn is the only thing she really knows how to do, but now that she’s a bit older and a bit wiser, she knows that she wasn’t just being wild and that everyone else thinks she’s crazy.

So let’s go back to the original question that brought me here in the first place. What is Annabel Chong doing these days? The answer appears to be that she is doing nothing. Or at least nothing that anyone else couldn’t do. While it may prove F. Scott Fitzgerald wrong, it’s still no demonstration that intellectuals can be found in all kinds of strange places—including the porn industry.

An Afterthought

Here we are a year and a half later. Annabel Chong has sunk into obscurity, even in the porn world. This post has moved way, to the fifteenth page of a Google search for her name. Perhaps, as the porn-intellectual’ Pete said in a comment to the original posting of this article, she has just found the anonymity that she seems to want.

Oh…and anyone looking for a more recent photo of her might want to check out this site.

Readers might be interested in this related blog post.

10 Responses

  1. Because she works as a web developer it makes her not smart? Not that I know of, but according to accounts she always excelled in school and graduated with honors from high school and got her masters from USC. Now you want to say that she’s doing nothing? She’s living her life, why do you care so much about her writing some book or I guess still doing porn. She obviously was done with porn and wants to start a different life, but people like you insist on focusing on her past and trying to judge her presently, based on that part of her life. It’s because of idiots like you, that porn stars have to go into obscurity and try to live a normal life.

    • I can understand your feelings. In fact, I wrote this at a much early time, around 2002, just after I had seen the film. I moved it here when I stopped using Typepad blogs, which are pay for use. At the time, I was replying to her own promotion of her career as it was happening at the time. I’d say that back in the early 2000s, she was still inviting scrutiny of her life. Maybe you disagree.

      It is true that she graduated from reasonably good schools, and appears to be working in the kind of job that she might otherwise have ended up in. None of this makes her “smart”. Nor do I think it makes her not smart. I simply have not seen her do anything that would address this label – despite her many attempts during different interviews she has given. My judgement is that few would have shown interest in her opinions if she hadn’t let herself be filmed while having sex. I’d say she was inviting a critique – at least at that time.

      There’s a lot more I could say about the nature of the porn industry and the people involved in it, and how this myth of the intellectual porn star plays into porn marketing. This is a problem I have only recently come to understand and wasn’t part of what I was thinking when I wrote this post.

  2. Not sure of intellect meaning anything in porn or other aspects of it but crystal clear doesn’t make herself look good on the Howard stern show. I feel there are people always praying on victims for various things. Ms. Chong’s Wikipedia states that she was drunk and agreed to have sex with a stranger in the alley. She was then raped by other men. At the minimum she was spontaneous and impulsive at least at that moment. Then her porn career began by her answering an ad for photography. This turned out to be a porn job which she took. Once again based on Wikipedia. I wish her the best in her new life. People change and I guess she didn’t enjoy that part of her lifestyle. I guess in a way that’s smart. Only she can answer what made her leave but few can walk away from a something like that and turn her life into a more productive one. Good luck

  3. Men and women are different and that’s the way it is. I always wonder if some of these extreme feminists have underlying issues that make them go over the top. Don’t get me wrong, I am for equality, but this woman was only fooling herself to think this was empowering to women. The men in the video made me feel sick !!. I feel for her .

  4. I’m gay so I’m not sure why I looked Annabel Chong up tonight – but having read this, I feel the need to defend her – I went to high school with her and knew her as Grace Quek – she was a talented dancer and brilliant student then – we attended our prom together and she made her own outfit – Grace wore a brown turban and a ball gown in a matching fabric – at her whim, her gown was converted into a mini-skirt – her flair for drama was eons ahead of our peers – on the surface, she was the perfect Singapore girl but still waters run deep – I knew it even then because I was grappling with my sexuality and sensed the undercurrents in her personality – I hope that she has found some peace in her inner life because she is a really good person – it’s just that sometimes genius can be a curse.

  5. Annabel was a GIFTED student in Singapore (she got into the gifted education program) and got into the top schools. She is clearly a smart girl. A very very sad thing that the gang rape led to a totally different trajectory for what started out as a really promising life. I sincerely hope she has healed and is happy now.

  6. I guess smart is realative. Getting in a situation but aggreeing to have sex with a total stranger at some secluded back alley where as a woman you could be put your life in danger = not smart and doing a high value grossing porn movie to break some gang bang record for only $10000 and not having any legal contract or grounds to get paid for it = not smart. Managing to go from porn star to CSS, Java, ASP senior software engineer, ICT consultant in several years = doing better than me and I’ve been aspiring to get to that part of the ICT industry for almost a decade. Just a lazy bugger and not a good studier.

  7. You’re a fucking dumbass

    You feel threatened that a porn star could be smarter than you

    Lame

  8. I am making the following comments as a Singaporean.

    These are my biggest takeaways from Annabelle Cheong’s(Grace Quek’s) life:

    1) No matter how academically brilliant a person is, the fact is, the years between teen-age to the age of 25, are really one of the most vulnerable, because the truth is, the brain is really still not quite fully mature yet, at this stage.

    That’s why you regularly see so many seemingly intelligent young people out there doing the silliest random things and suffering the sad consequences(just look at the many examples of this on Youtube and Live Leak).

    2) So, building on the first point above, it therefore stands that parental supervision and guidance is really very critical during the years before a child turns 25 years of age. Now, it is perhaps interesting to point out a glaring difference in this respect between the Western and Eastern parenting styles.

    In the West, like in country such as America, parents tend to consider a child ‘grown-up’ once he/she is of college-going age.

    But in Eastern culture, such as in Asia, and in particular, a country like Singapore(the country where I come from, and from where Grace Quek comes from), children below 25 years of age are still very much closely supervised by the parents, since Asian culture does not really condone a child moving out to stay on his/her own unless he/she is getting married to start his/her own family. So, by default, a child in the Eastern culture, grows up with more close parental supervision, guidance and protection.

    This is the reason why, in Singapore, most of those parents who object to a child studying overseas, do so mainly because of the huge worry that the child will be led astray, pick up bad habits, or get into trouble in a foreign land, without the parents being there to supervise and to protect the child.

    I suppose in the West, parents don’t really consider a 22 year-old a ‘child’ anymore, but in the Eastern culture, especially in Asia, a 22 year-old, is. The term ‘Tiger Moms’, referring to the Asian style of strict upbringing of a child, largely stems from this kind of mindset – that the child, while he/she is still not yet fully mature, still requires very strict and close supervision and guidance by the parents, not just to make sure that he/she is brought up well, but also well-protected until he/she starts his/her own family.

    There are pros and cons to both styles of parenting, but by and large, I strongly feel that the Eastern style is the better one. This is a very objective opinion, based on its merits, and not just because I am an Asian myself.

    It is not for me to say that Grace Quek’s parents should never have sent her overseas to study in the first place, that the unfortunate rape in the dark alleyway would then never had the chance to take place, and that it would not then spark off the bizarre chain of events that would change the trajectory of Grace Quek’s life so drastically, but I don’t know what else to say.

    I think there is no argument that the unfortunate rape in London was the tipping point. From then on, it was just one long and sad downward spiral. That’s the way I see it.

    3) The people who know Annabelle Cheong’s story most intimately, are perhaps those people who are now already in their middle-age. Most of you who closely followed the Annabelle Cheong saga when it first broke in 1995, probably already have your own children by now.

    One of any parents’ greatest fears in this world, is that your child will take the wrong path in life.

    Perhaps the biggest takeaway of all, from Annabelle Cheong’s story, is that, all it takes, really, is just a brief moment of folly, naivety and immaturity, or recklessness, for anyone to fall off the cliff of no return.

    I would like to qualify my opinion by saying that I have seen Annabelle Cheong’s videos, especially a very critical one in my opinion – ‘More Dirty Debutantes #37′, in which, to a trained Psychologist, or to a person who is trained to read a person’s body language from his/her micro-expressions, reveals a lot about her, more so than any of the actual sexual acts in the video. I was more interested in analysing what she said, the way she said it, and her micro-expressions, which gave me very revealing glimpses into her true inner feelings and psyche. Let me just say that, to a trained eye, the rape in that dark alleyway back in London, affected her severely. Sad to say, but It truly was the hair that broke the camel’s back.

    Grace Quek came from a top school in Singapore – Hwa Chong Junior College. Just so you know, in Singapore, when you tell people that you graduated from Hwa Chong Junior College, it is like telling people you went to the top college in your own country, whichever that is. She was also in an accelerated learning programme called the ‘GIFTED’ programme, admissible only to the cream of the crop of each cohort. She had also made it to the prestigious King’s College in London to study law under a scholarship. All this was before she was raped.

    Sometimes, whenever I think about Annabelle Cheong’s life, I always ask myself this question: “If Grace Quek was not raped that fateful night in that dark alleyway in London, would she have turned out this way?”

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