President Chen Shui-bian's (
Chen Chih-chung (
Following a report in Friday's edition of the Chinese-language China Times that said the couple are living at an up-scale apartment complex in downtown Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River, Chen Chih-chung dismissed the report as "greatly distorted, exaggerated and false."
He said their apartment is only about 19 pings big and overlooks the street.
There is a small gym inside the building but there is no swimming pool as the report claimed.
The apartment is a long way from Central Park and the monthly rent is not NT$250,000 (US$7,812) as the report alleged, he said.
The report based its claim on clips broadcast on TV and said that Huang was wearing a luxurious fur coat and holding a brand name purse when the couple came out of an expensive French restaurant before getting into a black Mercedes-Benz limousine following a pre-Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday.
The report said that the TV reporter later found out that the restaurant's Thanksgiving dinner cost at least NT$5,000 per person, not including tips.
It also revealed that the price tag for the most expensive wine at the restaurant was at least NT$180,000.
Chen Chih-chung said he and his wife did have dinner with friends at the restaurant on the eve of Thanksgiving but the limousine was rented by their friends.
He said their friends rented the car because they wanted to provide comfort for his pregnant wife and in order to protect the couple's privacy.
Regarding the fur coat, Chen Chih-chung said that it was purchased by his mother-in-law many years previously and had recently been given to his wife because of New York's notoriously cold winter weather.
Chen Chih-chung, however, admitted that his wife has a fake fur coat, which he said she had bought at a department store sale for NT$30,000.
He also dismissed claims in the report that he does not have a job or go to school and that the real reason the couple are in New York is to have their first baby born in the US, thereby entitling the child to US citizenship.
Chen said that he began interning for a law firm in Manhattan after he graduated from New York University School of Law in May.
He and his wife came back to Taiwan to visit his parents during the summer but later delayed their return to New York after his mother fell ill.
Without saying whether they would come home to have their baby, Chen Chih-chung said it was pure speculation that they went to the US to have their child.
Vice President Annette Lu (
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun yesterday claimed that media coverage of Chen Chih-chung and his wife's life in New York was an atttempt by pro-China media to divert the public focus away from Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) special allowance fund scandal and on to the couple.
However, DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said the couple should speak and act cautiously given the DPP's recent difficulties, referring to the indictment of first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) on corruption and forgery charges in the "state affairs fund" case.