Fri, Jan 09, 2004 - Page 18 News List

Pop Stop

By Max Woodworth  /  STAFF REPORTER


As if Anita Mui's (梅艷芳) death wasn't tragic enough, her mother, her manager and her entourage of celebrity friends have turned the aftermath into an unsightly carnival of recriminations and mutual finger-pointing worthy of a Hong Kong B-movie.

Disputes currently rage between all sides over whether she should be cremated or buried and over how her sizable fortune should be divided. Adding the most fuel to the fire is Anita's mother, who has sharply rejected the prospect that her daughter's body be cremated, despite the fact that Anita stated in her will that this was her wish.

What seems to have really irked Mrs. Mui is the generous amount left behind in the will to Anita's friends and to her manager Marianne Wong (王敏慧). On Tuesday, after exiting the funeral home where her daughter's remains are being kept until a settlement is reached on what to do with her body, Mrs. Mui lashed out at reporters calling Wong "a rat," and vowing to settle accounts with each of Anita's friends, whom she accused of sponging off Anita in life and trying to benefit from her death.

Anita was famous, not only as a singer and actress, but also as a generous philanthropist who donated to hospitals and other social causes. When accounting irregularities appeared in the proceeds of a charity she and her mother were a part of, the two became estranged and she found herself closer to her friends than to her family. She had already fallen out with her two brothers after several failed business ventures. Anita left no money for her brothers in her will. Yet, despite the distance that grew between Anita and her family, Mrs Mui insists that she have the last say over her daughter's burial and distribution of property. "I want every last penny to be clarified," she is quoted in Wednesday's Apple Daily as saying.

Money was the issue Monday also in Hong Kong when, according to the Associated Press, the father of Canto-pop singer Eason Chan (陳奕迅) was jailed for seven years for accepting bribes worth HK$3 million (US$380,000) when he served as a government engineer. He was also ordered to return HK$2.6 million (US$330,000) to the government.

In Taiwan, black metal rockers Chthonic (閃靈) have just released a new single and VCD called Satan's Horns, which will provide the music during credit rolls in local screenings of the slasher flick Jason vs. Freddy, which is due to be released on Jan. 21.

"The song tells the story of two evil powers clashing. It's pretty violent and strong," said the band's lead singer, who, by chance, also goes by the name Freddy, when reached by Pop Stop on Wednesday. Since "violent" and "strong" sum up Chthonic's music in general, they seem the perfect choice for the project.

After an awkward five months of performances and promotions as S.H., Selina and Hebe of S.H.E., celebrated the return of Ella to the group this week amid much fanfare. Ella is on a low-fat diet to help lose weight after a five-month convalescence at home in Pingtung. She broke her hip in July on the set of a public service video shoot that was intended to display the proper use of the rappel fire escape mechanisms found in many Taiwanese buildings.

Three weeks ago, Pop Stop reported on the on-line poll being carried out by B.A.D. to determine which of the band's members has the best solo on their new album, Starting Point of My Dream (夢的起點). On Sunday, Pop Stop attended the announcement ceremony deep in the bowels of Ximending's 101 building in the company of about 100 screaming teenage girls. Danny won with 29,748 votes. His bandmates Ben and Alex were both within 250 votes

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