In the wake of her love life being thrown into the spotlight following a public spat between veteran Channel 8 actresses Hong Huifang and Pan Lingling, actress Julie Tan revealed that she experienced an abusive relationship in the past.
Speaking to Singapore’s Chinese media on Tuesday (24 July), Tan, 25, said that she was abused physically and verbally by the unnamed boyfriend whom she dated in 2016.
The Singaporean businessman, who was older than her by 11 years, even cheated on her during the relationship, she said.
That was the lowest point in her life, said Tan, and she developed an anxiety disorder and resorted to self-harm because of the abuse she suffered.
Tan was responding to the media about her past relationships after it came to light that Pan allegedly advised Hong’s son, 18-year-old Calvert Tay, to get vaccinated against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as he was thought to be dating Tan.
Pan allegedly told Tay to get inoculated against STDs because Tan had a Caucasian boyfriend.
Hong angrily renounced her longtime friendship with Pan after finding out what she had said to Tay, sending shockwaves through Singapore’s entertainment industry.
Tan had kept her boyfriend anonymous in 2016 as she did not want to reveal his identity until their relationship became stable or they got married. However, they broke up in July 2016 after half a year of dating.
Tan brought up her past trauma to underscore the point that just because she had been through a few unsuccessful relationships did not mean that she was a promiscuous woman as Pan had implied.
“I envy her (Pan) for being lucky enough to fall in love and have a happy marriage with her first boyfriend,” said Tan. “But I wasn’t so lucky. I had to go through a few relationships to understand myself and find a right partner.”
Tan said a woman’s reputation was very important, adding, “Women still face a lot of discrimination, why should women bring other women down?”
Tan said that she had been forthcoming about her love life with the media and had nothing to hide, but did not imagine that her frankness would be used against her by Pan.
Tan had previously discussed her three past relationships in interviews, including those with local model Ng Yuze in 2013, and her Turkish boyfriend in 2017, who is sometimes referred to as Caucasian.
She once described the abusive boyfriend from 2016 as “not romantic, but caring”.
She broke up with the Turk at the end of 2017 after dating for a year because he said while proposing to her that he wanted her to be a housewife after marrying him. She declined as she wanted to focus on her career.
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