Media yesterday speculated about the possibility that blackmail played a role in revelations that Taiwanese baseball sensation Wang Chien-ming (王建民) had an extramarital affair with an Asian-American woman two years ago.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday reported that a man who claimed to be an acquaintance of the 28-year-old woman, Cyndi, had previously attempted to hawk inside stories of Wang’s affair, along with group pictures of the pair, for US$10,000 to a newspaper agency, but was turned down.
The article also claimed the woman later offered to buy back the photographs, but that the man was now charging twice the amount for them to be returned.
The report quoted Cyndi as saying she did not know how the photographs came to light and why the person was trying to extort money.
She said she did not lose her USB flash drive and that her Facebook photographs could be viewed by only a limited number of people.
Responding to questions by reporters about the accuracy of those reports, Wang’s agent, Alan Chang (張嘉元), declined to comment and said only that Wang had communicated with the woman.
“As [Wang] Chien-ming has acknowledged his mistakes, I hope the public can forgive him for causing harm to his family, wife and fans,” Chang said.
However, Chang warned any party that wished to profit from Wang’s affair, saying: “Whether it is the media or any individual, our agency reserves the right to pursue legal action against any party that attempts to profit from the incident, or to make money by handling the issue as a joke or a soap opera.”
Chang added that Wang would not comment further on the matter.
Wang’s parents yesterday urged their son to learn from his mistake and said they would stand by him.
Wang’s father, Wang Ping-huang (王炳煌), and mother, Yang Su-chen (楊素貞), issued a statement expressing their regret over the Taiwanese star’s behavior, saying their son had let down and hurt his fans.
“We do not condone what our son did, but at the same time, we’re not going to let anyone take advantage of his mistake,” they said.
“Hopefully he can learn from his mistake and recover people’s faith in him through his performances on the field,” they said. “As parents, we respect his decisions and we will stand by him.”
Additional reporting by Shelley Shan