Datuk Lee Chong Wei (eighth from right) and Josiah Cheng (fifth from right), with the cast and crew of ‘Lee Chong Wei: Rise of The Legend’. PIC BY NUR ADIBAH AHMAD IZAM

His biopic opens a month from now, yet badminton champion Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s reputation has been “challenged” by allegations of him being featured in a sex video.

However, producer Josiah Cheng, the man behind Lee Chong Wei: Rise of The Legend, stands right behind the sportsman and strongly believes fans will give him full support.

“Cinema-goers are educated, mature and discerning now.

“They don’t simply believe wild rumours, especially those coming at the eleventh hour and are obvious attempts to soil their hero’s reputation,” he said during an interview with the New Straits Times yesterday.

Cheng is confident that Lee’s move to lodge a police report on the video would boost fans’ admiration of him.

Furthermore, many Netizens have condemned the actions of individuals slandering him.

“Time will tell right from wrong, and I’m confident Lee will clear his name. He has overcome many challenges to become a world-class sportsman, and this is a relatively small one.”

Cheng said many successful people had faced attempts by spiteful individuals to “bring them down”, and these included the late American pop legend Michael Jackson.

“Jackson was vindicated in the end, and Lee will clear his name, too.

“Malaysians have given a big hand to our cast and crew, and they are anxiously waiting to watch this ‘very Malaysian story’, which promotes national unity and inspires youths to strive for excellence despite the odds.”

Lee reportedly lodged a report last Wednesday.

The national shuttler strongly denied that the man in the three-minute, 12-second video with an unknown woman was him.

Rise of The Legend, which opens on March 15, will have an exclusive screening of the director’s extended version at Bukit Jalil National Stadium’s Kuala Lumpur Sports City on March 9.

Actors Jake Eng, 14, and Tosh Chan, 23, will be making their debut as Lee at different ages, while award-winning Datuk Rosyam Nor plays national badminton coach Datuk Misbun Sidek.

Directed by Teng Bee, it features advanced camera work that allows viewers to experience badminton games from a player’s perspective.

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