Fri, Aug 05, 2011 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

By Noah Buchan  /  Contributing Reporter

The Chairman has a new trick up his sleeve.

Photo: Taipei Times

Don’t be surprised if Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛, aka Big S) is seen praying to the “Old Man Under the Moon” (yuexialaoren, 月下老人, or the deity of love and marriage) for help.

Pop Stop readers will recall that Hsu married moneybags Wang Xiaofei (汪小菲) five months ago amid rumors that the Chinese businessman had knocked her up. Chinese-language media reported that the lavish affair, fit for the fairy-tale world of a Barbie doll, cost over NT$30 million.

Since then, gossip hounds have noted that Hsu’s clothing, typically form-fitting and revealing, has tended toward full-fitting and concealing — a hint that the earlier rumors were true. But don’t break out the cigars yet: It seems that all is not right in fantasyland.

Chinese-language media reported that the pair looked visibly peeved with each other after returning from a “second honeymoon” in Europe last week. This led NOWnews and the United Daily News to speculate that the on-board tiff was the result of a miscarriage. The couple dismissed the rumors.

Could it be possible that the longevity of a celebrity marriage is inversely proportional to the lavishness of its wedding ceremony? Who knows, but the gossip has led to rumors of recriminations from both sides that are reminiscent of the soap opera that has become Cecilia Cheung’s (張柏芝) life.

And speaking of Cheung, reports in the China Times and the Apple Daily say she has apologized to her mother-in-law, Deborah Lee (狄波拉), in a further attempt to save her marriage with estranged husband Nicolas Tse (謝霆鋒).

The Hong Kong actress, who is on notoriously bad terms with Lee, reportedly sent a text message saying she wanted to reconcile with Tse. She was also alleged to have committed herself to returning two properties — previously owned by Tse and worth NT$740 million — to make peace.

Cheung’s gestures are the latest since the May “airplane incident” (機上事件), when she and ex-flame Edison Chen (陳冠希) snapped pictures of themselves on a flight to Hong Kong, a reminder of the naked photographs of Cheung and Chen that were leaked on the Internet three years ago.

The “airplane incident” fallout was predictable: Tse got pissed off, Cheung threatened divorce. Tse agreed, Cheung reneged. They’ve barely spoken since. In an attempt at reconciliation, the couple met a few weeks back, but that tete-a-tete reportedly descended into chaos, with Cheung shouting profanities at her husband.

Things appeared to be looking up when Tse appeared at their son Lucas’ fourth birthday party earlier this week. Sina.com reported, however, that in addition to gifts, Tse came bearing divorce papers. Cheung refused to sign them. Stay tuned for the next installment of this unfolding melodrama.

While some couples clearly need help from the Old Man Under the Moon, others seem to be doing just fine. Pop Stop is happy to report that an October wedding between singer Selina Jen (任家萱), who was severely burned in an accident last year, and Richard Chang (張承中) seems ever more likely.

Selina’s father Jen Ming-ting (任明廷) let the cat out of the bag in June when he said the couple would probably wed on Halloween. This was followed up last week with comments by fellow S.H.E band member Hebe Tien (田馥甄), who said that their wedding plans were proceeding apace. Gossip hounds took it as confirmation of the autumn betrothal. Tien, for her part, refused to comment on the official date, stating that she would wait for an announcement from Jen’s record company.

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