Above: One year of difference in Mag Lam’s looks. In September 2012, Mag appeared frail and excessively thin (right photo).
In the last two years since winning first place in The Voice 2 <超級巨聲2>, 22-year-old Mag Lam (林欣彤) was anywhere but in the shadows. She was the first The Voice contestant to sign a music contract with EEG in early 2011, and managed to release a full-length record in less than six months. She starred in four films, seven endorsement commercials, and one TVB drama. She won numerous Best Newcomer honors at music awards, and her debut album, Vocalist, was also certified platinum. Mag Lam was a rare, irreplaceable young talent in the Hong Kong music industry.
But everything comes at a cost. Pressured by the burden of fame and expectations, Mag quickly fell into depression. The singer, who has released one album and one film in the last four months, had to cease all of her promotional activities so she can recuperate at home.
A source claimed that Mag suffered a serious mental breakdown after losing her voice a few months ago, and she never managed to pull herself back together. Another source claimed that her management agency, TVB, treated Mag as a growing money tree, and was overwhelming her with work. Yet another source claimed that Mag was pressured to keep her romantic relationship with Sheldon Lo (羅孝勇) a secret, and that she was ostracized by her label mate Joey Yung (容祖兒), who was unhappy with Mag’s special treatment from EEG.
Mag Has Bulimia?
Mag’s depression worsened, and allegedly beginning to develop symptoms of bulimia and anxiety disorder.
Mag’s weight reportedly dropped from 114 pounds to 84 pounds in two months. In November, Mag attended Eric Kwok’s (郭偉亮) wedding ceremony, looking very frail and thin.
A friend of Mag’s said, “Mag never took a day off in the last two years. She is very principled; she only likes to sing, not act, but her company requires her to do both. Mag was beginning to think that she is getting further and further away from her dreams, and she always complained about the amount of stress she is going through. After she fell sick, she would not leave the house. She would only leave it at night only to visit the doctor, or to visit her old high school classmates and friends in Sha Tin.”
Could Not Continue Working Anymore
“Love is Light (Mag’s second album) was released in August, but Mag could not do the promotions anymore,” an insider revealed. “Her company realized that her depression was getting worse, so they decided to give her three months off. They wanted her to make a comeback by the time the awards season rolls around, so they could promote her album then.”
Mag suffered a vocal cord injury earlier this year, and in September, the singer announced that she would be taking a short hiatus to recover her voice. A source revealed that Mag’s vocal cords were actually completely healed by October, but because of her depression, bulimia, and anxiety disorder, she decided to not attend any of the year-end award ceremonies. “But she hopes to be able to go back to work by next February,” the source said.
Mag Ostracized by Joey?
While it was assumed that Mag’s mental breakdown came primarily from the pressure of work and losing her voice, a report revealed that Joey Yung also took a part in driving Mag into depression.
Another source close to Mag said, “Mag managed to release an album within six months after joining EEG. Despite the poor economy, Mag’s album still sold really well. Last year, she swept all newcomer awards. Riding on Mag’s rising momentum, TVB and EEG gave her the first priority in everything. Although Mag was a second lead in Diva <DIVA華麗之後>, her screen time is comparable to Joey’s. At work, Joey always gave Mag the cold treatment. On the first day of work, Joey tried to stay away from Mag as far as possible, and it took a long time for the reporters to get Joey and Mag to pose together.”
Yo Yo Depression
Mag first began showing signs of depression after filming Live in Flames <起勢搖滾> in late 2011. It was reported that the film’s young director, Jacky Lee (李志倫), was pursuing Mag, but she rejected his advances. “Jacky didn’t take the ‘no’ very well, and he gave her a hard time,” a crew member said.
However, according to a friend of Mag’s, her spirits were lifted after she met 24-year-old Sheldon Lo, who was also a The Voice contestant. The friend said, “Mag was noticeably happier when she began dating Sheldon Lo, but her company did not want her to make the relationship public. It gave her a lot of stress, and she began to break down again.”
On December 12, Mag was spotted in Sha Tin visiting a friend. Asked if her depression has worsened, Mag breathlessly said, “Thank you for your concerns. I have been resting and visiting a doctor.” Asked if she had lost over thirty pounds, Mag said, “Only a little bit!”
Asked if Mag plans to attend any of the year-end award ceremonies, she said, “I don’t know. I will discuss it with my company before arranging [my appearances].” Asked if Joey Yung is ostracizing her, Mag replied, “I’m sorry.” Asked if she has bulimia, Mag said, “No.”
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