This week’s gossip pages have been filled with matrimonial lies, bickering action heroes and Lady Gaga’s little monsters. First up, television hostess and actress Chen Mei-fen (陳美鳳) made headlines when she revealed that she and her husband are heading for a divorce. The news came as a shock as very few people knew the couple were married in the first place.
Dubbed the country’s “most beautiful obasan” (最美麗的歐巴桑) — obasan is a Japanese word often used to refer to an older woman — the 55-year-old Chen made it public earlier this month that she had split from her lover, known as David by local media, because of the existence of a xiaosan (小三), or “other woman.”
In response to the star’s announcement, David issued a tell-all statement on Friday last week, revealing that he and Chen have been married for nine years and calling on his wife, who is currently refusing to communicate with him, to “peacefully negotiate a divorce settlement and start divorce proceedings.” Later, when questioned by the Apple Daily, David said he wanted to save the marriage.
Photo: Taipei Times
Chen apologized to her fans on Facebook for concealing the marriage, and has reportedly decided to implement a cooling off period instead of a legal separation. Meanwhile, the media are already hard at work figuring out how much a divorce will cost Chen, who has an estimated personal fortune exceeding NT$500 million. She is said to have been supporting not only David, but also his children from two previous marriages.
While Chen’s domestic affairs sound like an epic divorce case in the making, the curtain on the tired soap opera separation between TV entertainer Frankie Kao (高凌風) and his wife Chin Yu-chuang (金友莊) looks likely to finally fall.
Devoted celebrity gossip fans might recall the high-profile announcement Kao made in front of assembled media on his 62nd birthday last month, when he claimed that Chin had agreed to “maintain the status quo” (維持現狀) status of their marriage.
The next installment of this turgid soap opera unfolded last week when Kao held a press conference to claim he had evidence of Chin’s dalliance with another man. He then declared his undying faith to his wife. Chin, who is 20 years Kao’s junior, hit back by announcing she and Kao had already divorced last year. Yes, you heard it right the first time, divorced.
It turns out Pop Stop was correct when it suspected in an earlier report that the Kao-Chin affair smelled of a drama specially staged to whip up a media frenzy. But we’re not going to gloat.
On the music front, advance tickets for the Taipei leg of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball world tour went on sale at 9am on Saturday last week at the National Taiwan University Sports Center (台大體育館) in Taipei. By 5pm, 90 percent of the tickets were sold, and organizer Kuang Hong Arts (寬宏藝術) had to deploy armored carriers to transport a box office haul of NT$100 million in cash.
But not every little monster, a term used to describe Lady Gaga’s fans, is happy. Unable to afford the hefty ticket prices, which go up to NT$12,800, a group of Gaga devotees posted a petition on the pop diva’s fan site at littlemonsters.com, pleading for help from their idol. Stay tuned for Lady Gaga’s response. She will perform at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall (台北世界貿易中心南港展覽館) on May 17.
In other pop diva-related news, Shu Qi (舒淇) has taken a blow for sticking up for her friend Donnie Yen (甄子丹). The Hong Kong martial arts superstar recently quarreled with Chinese action actor Vincent Chiu (趙文卓), who was to co-star in Yen’s latest kung fu flick Special Identity (特殊身份). Chiu was subsequently ousted from the production.
Shu voiced her support for Yen in a Weibo (微博) post. The star’s act of friendship for the Hong Kong actor reportedly irked some Chinese netizens who decided to unearth and circulate nude photographs of Shu from 1996, when the then unknown starlet featured in a soft-core skin flick. Seemingly unwilling to engage in this type of online brouhaha, Shu removed all of her Weibo micro blog entries on Monday.
African-American entertainer Dooley appeared on local television show Super Entourage (小明星大跟班) a few weeks ago and was told by the crew that they wanted to do a skit in blackface. Dooley, whose real name is Matthew Candler, tells the Taipei Times that Super Entourage wanted to perform a rendition of the wildly popular “Ghana Coffin Dance,” a meme that has taken the world by storm. Instead, he showed them videos about the racist origins of blackface and slavery in America, and they agreed to drop the makeup. “[I told them] about the history [behind blackface] and [said] you decide
June 1 to June 7 In February 1988, Robert Wu (吳清友) set aside NT$17.5 million to purchase two Henry Moore sculptures from London’s Marlborough Gallery. He never bought the pieces. Feeling slighted that the gallery manager initially looked down on him as a Taiwanese, he decided that night to use the money to open his own art space back home. “Without selling any art, that money could support the gallery for four years. If I feature one artist per month, that provides a stage for at least 100 artists,” Wu said in the book Eslite Time (誠品時光) by Lin Ching-yi (林靜宜).
With listicles of local attractions including Costco and numerous children’s playgrounds, I was not expecting much. Opened on Jan. 31, the Taipei MRT’s Circular Line, or Yellow Line, made life in the nation’s capital even more convenient. But judging from Internet search results, it hasn’t opened up many new tourism opportunities, unsurprising as the route mostly crosses densely populated areas and industrial parks. Places like a sports stadium with rainbow colored bleachers perfect for Instagram selfies wouldn’t do it for me either, and it’s pointless to list attractions at the connecting stops that have existed for years. As a history nerd, there
The morning after the ride, my hands ached in a way I’d never before experienced, and my palms looked slightly bruised. Flexing my fingers as I waited for my coffee to cool down, I knew exactly which part of the previous day’s excursion had done this to me. As the go-to-work rush hour ebbed, I’d set off inland on my 125cc scooter. I took Provincial Highway 20 as far as Tainan City’s Yujing District (玉井). From there, I took Provincial Highway 3 into Nansi District (楠西). The route I’d planned would take me past the eastern side of Zengwen Reservoir (曾文水庫)