Sun, Dec 15, 2002 - Page 2 News List

The tangled affairs of Sophie Wang

WOMAN SCORNED She was dumped by lawmaker Cheng Yu-chen after marrying him in the US, but now she has become a major thorn in the DPP man's side

STAFF WRITER

Sophie Wang's (王筱蟬) outrageous behavior at the beginning of the week has become DPP lawmaker Cheng Yu-chen's (鄭余鎮) worst nightmare.

Wang started her career as a TV soap-opera actress on China Television Co back in the 1980s. She left the TV business after one year of acting but came back into the spotlight two years ago, when she was widely rumored to be the mistress of KMT Legislator John Chang (章孝嚴), the illegitimate son of former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).

But it is her recent relationship with Cheng that has made her a regular feature in the newspapers. During the summer, the pair were providing reams of column inches to hungry hacks when, after a short and tumultuous affair, they ran off to the US to get married. Journalists were given even more to write about when Cheng returned three months later, vowing never again speak to the woman for whom he had earlier said he would gladly give up his legislative post.

But there was still more to follow. On Dec. 7, Cheng and his newly reunited family had a dinner, the footage of which was broadcasted on Formosa Television. Wang, who had since returned from the US, became jealous and went to Cheng's apartment the next day and fought with Cheng's wife, Lu Pei-ying (呂珮茵).

Wang arrived at Cheng's office building at the Legislative Yuan last Tuesday and got down on her knee at the front door of the building, telling reporters, "I will stay here until he [Cheng] shows up."

After two and a half hours had passed, according to police at the Legislative Yuan, Wang looked very sick. However, when a police officer tried to take her to the hospital, she refused and said, "Leave me alone. I am fine."

Meanwhile, Cheng was holding a public hearing inside, but, because of Wang's behavior, Cheng refused to allow the press to cover the public hearing -- making it the first closed-door public hearing at the Legislature ever.

On Wednesday, Wang arrived at the tomb of Cheng's ancestors. She said that she has the right to pay her respects to the site because legally she is still Cheng's wife.

Asked how and why she did this, she said she was just doing what she was supposed to do.

"How did I know about the whereabouts of the tomb? Cheng brought me here before, of course," she said. "And I think it is normal for a wife to visit and bow before her husband's family's tomb. There is nothing wrong with that, is there?"

Cheng did not comment on Wang's behavior and remarks.

On Thursday, Wang flew to Malaysia. She said that she was going there to shoot a print commercial for the essential-oil business she is running.

It had all started in February when Cheng hired Wang as his personal aide for the legislature. On Aug. 7, Cheng flew to Los Angeles with Wang to demonstrate his resolve to get a divorce from his estranged wife Lu. Lu had refused to give him a divorce, and the pair are still married.

According to Cheng's office, Cheng and Wang were married in Las Vegas during their three-month stay in the US.

At the time, Cheng said that he would rather quit being a lawmaker than part with Wang, though he continued to collect his legislative salary and expense money.

Events took an unexpected twist when Cheng returned to Taiwan on Nov. 9 and said that the relationship between Wang and himself was over.

"In the beginning, I thought she was a present given by God. But it is not like that anymore," said the DPP legislator during a press conference held after his return.

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