Just when Pop Stop thought it was safe to buy the local rags again, their front pages were full of the world's richest publicity hound, Terry Guo (郭台銘). This time, however, he was in the papers for sound reasons. The Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) chairman's younger brother tragically died of blood cancer recently and Guo announced he would donate NT$100 billion, half his personal estimated wealth, to fund research into the disease.
That's the good news; the best of the rest is as follows. Top of the charts is Taiwan's recently crowned beauty queen, the 18-year-old Chen Yi-wen (陳怡文). The cosmetology student who failed her university entrance exam was made Miss Taiwan after being judged on her resourcefulness (35 percent), appearance in formal attire (35 percent) and how good she looked in a bikini (35 percent). In addition to representing Taiwan in the Miss World contest, Chen walked away with NT$300,000, a scepter, cape and crown.
Unfortunately the Apple Daily spoiled the tearful celebrations somewhat by claiming her father was a sponsor of the event. For a beauty queen, she seemed a little under qualified (169cm, 49kg, 32B-24-35) the paper seemed to suggest. This scoop was possibly the result of some stunning undercover reporting from the daily's own Miss Congeniality, Ceng Pei-ying (曾珮瑛). The supplement writer had the brains, beauty and vital statistics (34E, 25, 35) to come fourth in the contest. Chen's victory was confirmed on Tuesday after a closed-door hearing decided her father was not a sponsor of the event, though he had backed other related beauty competitions.
How much would you pay to date Lin Chi-ling (林志玲)? If you're prepared to spend over NT$800,000, then you're paying too much. According to a story carried by Xinhua there's a Hong Kong mama san called Gu Hui-zhen (古惠珍) who can arrange dinner dates with the Chinese-speaking world's leading belles - for a price. Taiwan can pride itself on having some of the most expensive beauties for hire. Model Pace Wu (吳佩慈) came out on top, but laughed off her NT$1.25 million price tag by saying, "It looks like I made a lot of money." "Ice Cream" Lin won the silver medal.
This is small potatoes, however, compared to Hong Kong. According to China Times the HK actress Cecilia Cheung (張柏芝) was offered NT$10 million through the same mama san to be the escort of a wannabe sugar daddy. The terms were more exacting than just dinner though as the contract was for a year, stipulated at least 30 meetings, but "not necessarily sex." All too conveniently pimp-to-the-stars Gu would not disclose whether Cheung took the Pretty Woman part.
Discerning Pop Stop readers will have noted how often life seems to follow movie roles in the world of gossip. Another lady who hopes to hitch a celluloid lift in her celebrity career is F4's Fanny. The big-breasted singer was cast in the betel nut girl-to-riches movie Just in Love (幫幫我,愛神). Directed by Lee Kang-sheng (李康生), it is to be shown at the Venice Biennale and Fanny wants to walk the red carpet. Her agent, however, has other ideas and wants the vocalist to stick to her marketing duties here and in China.
"She's not a leading actress, she's always talking crap," opined her agent in Apple Daily. Fanny responded by saying she's going anyway because she's saved NT$100,000 and doesn't want to miss the big opportunity. Go Fanny!