Gay daughter of HK tycoon makes heartfelt plea to dad

The lesbian daughter of a Hong Kong tycoon, who offered more than $100 million to find her a male suitor, has issued a heartfelt open letter urging him to accept her sexuality.

In the letter, which starts "Dear Daddy", socialite Gigi Chao asked her father Cecil to treat her partner Sean Eav as "a normal, dignified human being" -- the pair have been together for nine years and are reported to have married in 2012 in France.

"I know it's difficult for you to understand how I could feel romantically attracted to a woman; I suppose I can't really explain it either. It just happens, peacefully and gently," she wrote in the letter, which was published in the South China Morning Post on Wednesday and circulated to other Hong Kong media.

Her plea came after property developer Chao, 77, who refuses to recognise that she is a lesbian, was reported last week to have doubled the "marriage bounty" on his daughter to HK$1 billion ($130 million), after an initial offer of HK$500 million two years ago.

The first sum attracted 20,000 candidates, with the bizarre dowry attempt making international headlines.

In her letter, 33-year-old Gigi said that she forgave her father because he was acting in her best interests.

And she took responsibility for "misleading" him into thinking there might be other options for her.

"I'm sorry to mislead you to think I was only in a lesbian relationship because there was a shortage of good, suitable men in Hong Kong. There are plenty of good men. They are just not for me."

In a plaintive message to her dad she told him of her sadness that he was unable to share in the life she had made for herself.

"My regret is that you have no idea how happy I am with my life, and there are aspects of my life that you don't share."

Chao, who owns publicly listed property developer Cheuk Nang, is a fixture of Hong Kong high society and regularly appears at public events with his latest young girlfriend. He reportedly once claimed to have slept with 10,000 women.

British movie maker Sacha Baron Cohen is reportedly working on a film based on the story.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 5 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report 6 hours ago
    Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report

    Here are today’s top trending stories in case you missed them.

  • Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day 18 hours ago
    Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day

    If there's one car that's particularly sought-after among today's well-heeled car collectors, a Ferrari 250 would be it. Usually it's the GTO variant, like the 1963 that sold for a record $52 million last year. A 250 of any sorts demands unfathomable cash, however, which is why we can but gawk at this 250 Testa Rossa. It's as close as any mere mortal will ever come to owning one.

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake
    Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's military commander said critics who called him out for wearing an especially luxurious watch should be quiet because the timepiece is actually a cheap Chinese fake.