Gregory Lee On The Endurance of Love

Note: The below East Magazine interview was published on June 9, 2011, prior to Shirley Yeung’s public announcement of breaking up with Gregory Lee on June 28, 2011.

In the past, Gregory Lee’s (李泳豪) name was often mentioned alongside his parents and he was known as Lee Ka Ding (李家鼎) and Shih Ming’s (施明)  son. However, since he started dating Shirley Yeung (楊思琦) in 2002, he became known as “Shirley Yeung’s boyfriend.” Although his name was buried, Gregory chose to hold onto Shirley’s hand even tighter and used all his capability to protect her.

Thereafter, the media described Gregory as “a toad eating a swan’s meat” (dating someone too good for him), lazy, and needed his girlfriend to earn money to support his whole family. Recently, rumors claimed that Gregory publicly forced marriage and wanted the girl to pay for her own dowry. Everyone believed the rumors and Gregory’s reputation went down the drain. However, he still continued to quietly act well those seemingly insignificant roles and strived to improve his skill as a drift car racer.

People’s words were very hurtful, but, all these years, Gregory never retorted or clarified matters. People who see him with prejudiced eyes might think he was weak or that silence meant admission. “What can I clarify? It will be never ending! Most of the time, they already have a story. I’m at their mercy. However I answer, I will still die!” These words revealed the typical tactics employed by various entertainment news media in reporting news.

It was already the 21st century now. Everyone should stop holding the old beliefs that social status must match in a dating relationship and decry “the woman’s status above the man'”ancient method of thinking. Since Shirley had a man who was willing to bear so many unnecessary false rumors to be with her, should not we be happy for her?


When Gregory received East Magazine’s request for a personal interview, he thanked the reporter many times. This was not difficult to understand. After all, since he started dating Shirley Yeung in 2002, negative news followed him one after another. From the point of view of entertainment news, this relationship was filled with discussion angles. In reality, the innocent party involved was subjected to a lot of hurt caused by these gossips.

“If I really were an indecent person who plays around and all, I don’t mind your writing about me this way. However, this is not the case. Writing this again and again, you really can kill me!

“In 2006, a tabloid magazine suddenly featured me on the front page, writing something very ugly. It said Shirley bought an apartment for me and said she needed to sell her flesh to support me. One magazine started it and other magazines followed. At the time, I really collapsed. I went to Kowloon City and the uncles, housewives and aunties there all pointed at me and discussed about me, saying I was an unworthy man. There were a lot of insulting words said. Going to the supermarket to buy things, the people there even read the magazine to my face. What can I do? So, up until year 2009, other than going to work and the gym, training horses and boxing, I did not dare go anywhere. I didn’t even dare to take the subway. I just completely hid myself. I have cried and even thought of suicide!

“Luckily, during that time, my dad, mom, girlfriend and some good friends continuously consoled me. Additionally, at that time, blogging became popular. So, I also posted the things I wanted to say on the blog. Through my writing, people started to understand what kind of person I was.

“Even now when I walked out on the street, people passed snide remarks at me for no reason, ‘This is Lee Wing Ho. I know him; his girlfriend is very successful? Him? Useless! You see how degraded he is?’ I already came around; I cannot control what people say. I can only do my own part well.”

Wide Gap

For many years, the news related to Gregory and Shirley labeled the woman as above the man. Shirley was a Miss Hong Kong winner, a promoted actress at TVB and owned a million-dollar property, while the man was lazy, and needed the girlfriend to earn money to support him. In terms of both fame and earning power, he was far behind his girlfriend. Gregory did not deny that his girlfriend’s career was more successful that his and her earnings higher. However, he stressed that their finances were independent of each other. Moreover, he himself also continuously worked.

“While dating Shirley until now, we never interfered with each other’s finances. The money she earned and the properties she owned, she handled them with her mother. The apartment she bought was her and her family’s matter. It has nothing to do with me and I also did not have the authority to interfere. As for me, I actually have never stopped working. Even though I cannot control what roles offered, I get to act in several sitcoms these past two years. My fee was not determined on a show-by-show basis. Unlike what the news reported, my fee was not only a few hundred dollars per show. I have a monthly salary and have exceeded the number of shows than contract stipulations in the past. Every year I also need to pay taxes.

“Magazines claimed that I used Shirley’s money for car racing. In actual fact, I got acquainted with my current race team boss two years ago and became a drift racer. Now, I already have some status within the car racing circle in Mainland. In each race competition, my expenses were fully supported by the race team. I also received money when I go to Mainland to teach racing. I renewed my contract with the racing team for three years.

“Yes, maybe the income from TVB and car racing is not much. However, I have always depended on myself, not jobless and relying on my girlfriend. I’m also not as poor as what tabloid magazines made me out to be!”

Shirley Yeung

Due to his girlfriend, Shirley Yeung, Gregory was condemned by many people. The reporter asked Gregory whether he ever thought of ending the relationship. “I’ve never thought about it! Really never!” He said definitely.

“There was a magazine that claimed that after my father helped Shirley during the time she fell from a horse while filming Blade Heart <血薦軒轅>, she dated me to repay his kindness. This was so ridiculous! We did meet while filming Blade Heart. During filming, we stayed in Mainland for two months. We got along very well and have many common interests. We felt comfortable with each other and naturally got together.

“Speaking of it, it’s actually very funny. That year, not long after she participated in Miss Hong Kong, Shirley filmed her first drama. One night, I was working at midnight. Suddenly, a person in ancient costume dashed in front of the dressing room corridor and said ‘Hello, how are you?’ to me.  At that time, I didn’t know who she was. Later, one afternoon, while I was chatting with someone in the dressing room, she suddenly came in carrying a yellow school bag like a lemon. Then she spread out her script and used a highlighter to highlight them. I thought to myself ‘Wah, primary school girl? Ha Ha Ha!'”

“Through all these years, we already have an understanding. We trust each other and if there’s anything, we would tell each other– communication is very important to a couple! As her boyfriend, I don’t need her to report to me all the time. Instead, most important to me is whether I can protect hēr!

“Actually, we really have thought of marriage. We already have this understanding and goal early on. But, at the same time, we also want our career to have a better and more stable development first. If marriage occurs, it should be within these two years.

Growing Up As A Child Actor

Gregory has a twin brother, Augustine Lee (李泳漢), who was older than Gregory by two minutes. Due to their parents being actors, the brothers grew up in movie studios and because of this, they developed an interest in acting. They started their acting career as child actors.

“I remember when we were studying in K1 (first year of kindergarten), mom came to school to fetch us and an auntie said to my mom ‘Your husband is a stuntman. Tell your sons to not beat up my son!’ We were only in kindergarten. How old were we? Later, in primary school, there were parents who told our schoolmates not to play with us. They said people in the entertainment industry were triad members.

“At the time we were in kindergarten, TVB was still located at Broadcast Drive. Dad was filming Hong Kong 80s <香港八幾>. Everyday, he came around 2 PM to pick us up from school and bring us to the studio to watch him act. Later, we went to the canteen to eat and play with other actors and crew members. Around 5-years-old, we started acting. I acted in Superlative Affections <赤腳紳士> while my elder brother acted in The Two Most Honorable Knights <絕代雙驕>. Later, we went to America and came back after finishing high school. I started acting in movies and later signed with TVB.

“It’s funny. When I was little, dad took me to lunch when he was filming a sitcom. These two years, I was filming a sitcom and dad will come to have a meal with me after he finished his work. Now, dad is filming a sitcom, and I will go have meal with him after I finish work. It’s like a circle. Acting has been my interest since young. So, I never thought of changing careers.”

“My Name Is Lee Wing Ho”

“Shirley’s boyfriend” did not refer to many men. Gregory indicated that he preferred to be addressed as “XXX’s boyfriend.” Gregory said that he really minded the nomenclature. “If you call me Lee Ka Ding and Shih Ming’s son, I acknowledge that because I really am their son! Although Shirley is my girlfriend, we are still two independent individuals. It’s very unpleasant to be called this way. One time, it’s even more ridiculous. My friend’s friend just straight away called me ‘Shirley Yeung’s boyfriend’!'” He said with a wry smile.

To avoid people mixing his name with Shirley’s again, Gregory especially wore a t-shirt his friend gave him last year to the interview. ‘This t-shirt has the Chinese character ‘Ho’ in front. In the back of the shirt, my friend especially found someone to design and print the two characters ‘Wing Ho.’ My friend hoped this t-shirt will let people remember that I actually have a name. My name is Lee Wing Ho!”

Yes, today’s interviewee was Gregory Lee Wing Ho, not “Shirley Yeung’s boyfriend.”

Source: East Magazine

This article was translated by Kidd for

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  1. This was truly a wonderful interview and offered insight into Gregory’s mentality. From the interview, Gregory said,

    “As her boyfriend, I don’t need her to report to me all the time. Instead, most important to me is whether I can protect hēr.”

    It is ironic that when Gregory likely gave Shirley too much freedom, to come and go as she preferred, and did not suspect there was chance of third party at all. It appears that in their relationship, Gregory was focused on what he can provide to Shirley instead.

    Finally, this interview also shed light on why Gregory was such an awesome child actor. Since he and Augustine spent many days of their childhood in the TVB studio, they watched many veterans act and were able to relay the intense emotions onscreen, often depicting fear and sadness extremely well. Had Gregory and Augustine remained in Hong Kong and did not go to America, perhaps their acting skills may have continued to progress!

    Gregory is looking very masculine lately and he is a more handsome version of Lee Ka Ding.

    I was also surprised as to how easily Gregory considered suicide. As mentioned in the article, he could not bear the constant barrage of negative criticism about him, simply for dating a more successful girlfriend. Given the current situation post-break up, I can imagine that he has without a doubt considered suicide again. Gregory, stay strong and let your family’s love guide you through this period!

    1. No wonder Shirley and his family worried that he would do something stupid. He has a history on it.

      I think Gregory is a very sensitive person who feels very deeply. That’s why he can think of suicide.

      1. Kidd,
        Yes I agree that Gregory is a deep thinker or perhaps thinks out a lot of matters inside his head. Whether those thoughts are appropriate or not is another matter. It doesn’t come across that Gregory is a very cheerful person.

        Perhaps it may have been you or another person who pointed out in the past that even as a child, Gregory was the quiet one while Augustine was the outgoing kid. Looking at his childhood photos, Gregory did look quite serious and did not laugh as unreservedly as Augustine.

        Do you know how many years the brothers stayed in America and which State they were in?

      2. @ Jayne

        You pointed out a point I didn’t notice. Yes, Greg seems not as unreserved as his brother. None of the photos above have him laughing or grinning. Only a small smile.

    2. ” Had Gregory and Augustine remained in Hong Kong and did not go to America, perhaps their acting skills may have continued to progress!”

      Just read in golden forum. The reason the brothers went to America was because their parents divorce and they followed their mom to American.

      鼎爺同施明離婚後,兩個仔跟阿媽移居美國,直至泳豪加入娛樂圈,兩父子關係更加融洽,仲一齊潮玩 iPad。佢哋兩個最近仲合作拍攝《拳王》,上陣不離父子兵。

  2. now he ready to open mind, hope after this he can feel better and find his true love.

  3. Hi Jayne,

    There’s a mistake that I spotted that I believe made by me

    “I’ve never about thought it ! Really never!” He said definitely.”

    Should be “I’ve never thought about it ! Really never!” He said definitely.

    This one I believe you have edited. So, I don’t know what you intended to write. But, I think it’s either missing a word or using a wrong word.

    I each race competition, my expenses were fully supported by the race team.

    Lastly, thanks so much for posting this and thanks for the edit and proof reading and making the article flows better. 😀

    1. Kidd,
      I made the corrections. Ah, these typos are a reflection of my fatigue and tired mind, even at 11 AM in the morning. Not a good sign! 🙂

  4. I know this is off topic but I can’t help but say it.

    If a girl dates a man that makes less money then her then hes called dating someone to good for her.

    If a girl dates a man that makes more money than her then shes called a gold digger or using the man for fame.

    … What the heck? Either way it won’t work. I guess everyone should date a guy that makes the same income as yourself?

    1. yes life isn’t fair just like

      not married guy gets older = golden bachelor
      not married girl gets older = leftover girl

    2. Exactly why I love this phrase by Gregory:

      ” I cannot control what people say. I can only do my own part well.”

      Just do your own part well and do not worry about what others have to say. You really can’t care sometimes.

  5. Thanks for translating this article, Kidd! Gives us a great insight about the intense pressure and public scrutiny Gregory had to face when dating Shirley.

    I agree with Jayne that Gregory is looking very masculine lately and looks much more handsome than before, hope TVB will try to promote him since he already has the necessary exposure and garnered some public sympathy fanbase from this breakup with Shirley and when coupled with his great acting skills by observing from his younger days, I’m sure he can be a highly-acclaimed actor in no time!

    Oh my gosh but the guy who read the discriminating article right in his face is so damn mean but Gregory probably can’t do anything to him as it would mean another ugly thing to write about for the media.

    1. Ah K,
      I wonder why HK citizens are so quick and intense in placing moral judgement, especially when it comes to financial matters in a relationship. Why do they have to publicly scold celebrities such as Gregory for just dating a more successful woman?

      Are the HK citizens so stressed by living in the fast paced city that they needed to vent? When I traveled to HK and ate out, all my experiences were very civil. Strangers were quite courteous and civil, even on a crowded subway. On the other hand, New Yorkers are quick to curse you out in a crowded subway and forcibly push you in.

      1. @Jayne:

        I guess it’s probably due to Hong Kong’s culture of being a cosmopolitan city BUT still very much traditional in thinking. This could be seen from the complaints TVB received whenever they aired a scene of violence or when that particular scene has too much skin or cleavage exposed.

        So I guess Hong Kongers are already very much affixed and accustomed in their traditional thinking that a man must always earn more than the woman and must be able to provide for her and not the other way ’round.

        And since the media had always painted a bad picture of Gregory “eating soft rice” from Shirley for nine years now, even blaming him for causing Shirley to be “frozen” and demoted to second line actress, I think they naturally thought of Gregory as the person who was dragging Shirley down in their relationship, had they known the facts that Gregory didn’t even use a single cent of Shirley’s money and that he was financially independent without Shirley’s assistance and read about his sufferings and diligence of taking up three jobs just to be on par with Shirley’s income, I’m sure the public would be more pragmatic in their thinking.

        Furthermore, I think their misperception of Gregory was also more like a case of “jumping on the wagon” where one person think this way and the others follow suit blindly.

        And most Hong Kong women are known to have the “princess syndrome” where they usually seek for a husband or boyfriend better paid and better qualified than them so I guess when Shirley lowered her expectations and dated Gregory, many Hong Kongers naturally sympathized with her and the more they felt like Gregory was holding her back then as they only saw the sacrifices made by Shirley and not Gregory.

        I’m also not sure why they had to publicly scold Gregory too, was it because they saw him as a punching bag to vent their daily frustrations?

        But they surely shouldn’t do that, It’s not like he was a serial killer or something or perhaps they probably thought they actually really know everything about him after staring at his photo and reading about his news for years now so they thought they had the right to scold him? I seriously don’t know man, the rationale of these people are beyond my comprehension.

        Here in Singapore, we have a hectic work life and are as fast-paced as Hong Kong (yes, such that we get into panic mode when people walk like there’s a funeral march when we are rushing to work or shopping downtown) and like what you described in New York, we literally shove people into the cabins but we definitely don’t go around scolding any celebrities regardless of whether they are A, B, C or D list, at worst we just love snatching seats in the cabins or pretend to doze off so that we can be excused from giving up our seats 😡

      2. @ Ah K

        I guess it’s a chinese thinking where it’s the duty of the man to support his family, so, must earn more. Not only Gregory, Kay Tse’s husband Louis Cheung was often labeled as eating soft rice too. In some HK forums, people even called in Tse Kai Chung. I was wondering who is Tse Kai Chung and search for the star. Only later I realise it’s Cheung Kai Chung’s nickname.

  6. If his words in the interview are a true reflection of his character, there will be a line of women queuing up for him.

    Earning power is NOT the only criterion to judge a man’s worth/ability.

    Well done, mate! And get your dad and brother to shut their traps, you’re coming out of this smelling like a rose already, so there’s no need to hang any more dirty linen in public. Savvy?

    1. If he continues dating in HK, looks like only women who make less than him will be lining up. I never thought this income thing was so serious in HK. Also, it doesn’t seem to me Gregory is actually poor, he just makes less than Shirley. He probably has a pretty comfortable living. What’s wrong with that?

  7. He definitely took the high road here. Not one bad word about Shirley. His interview gives us more insight into the person he really is. Perhaps Shirley actually did him a favor… now people know more about him and he may have a more hopeful career.

    1. Interview was done before shirley announced the breakup

    2. lol…look like u read all of it but 4got this: “Note: The below East Magazine interview was published on June 9, 2011, prior to Shirley Yeung’s public announcement of breaking up with Gregory Lee on June 28, 2011.”

  8. Aren’t we glad that we know more about Gregory?
    We should be happy that now the reporters are no longer calling him “a toad eating a swan’s meat” (dating someone too good for him).

    We all know that Gregory doesn’t earn as much as Shirley but he doesn’t lie and steal like Andy did. Now the reporters can shift their focus on this “toad (Andy) eating a swan’s meat” LOL

    If he is any better, like many fans said, he shouldn’t leave Shirley handle all this negative reports all by herself and hide behind the computer screen. He also dares to let his friend come out and speak for him. We understand why Ding Yeh came out and speak for his son because it’s his son and he cares so much for his feelings.

  9. I think because of his upbringing in the states from such a young age he’s more open in terms of relationship. I’m not from hk and I don’t understand why hongers are so hung up on status and money. To me Greg and Shirley are just two good looking people who met and fell in love, not like he’s a bum or anything. Why do people have to be so nasty?!?I’ve said it once and I will say it again, Greg was one of my fav child stars, I hope tvb will give him opportunities. Everything happens for a reason, keep your head up, buddy! Good luck.

  10. Thanks Kidd and Ah K for all the translations with regards to this story. And thanks Jayne for your great website, without all of you, I would be left with only the Google translator.

    Wow, what a strange coincedence that this magazine decides to interview Gregory weeks before Shirley’s abrupt announcement. I’m glad that we got to hear a bit of Greg’s thoughts with regards to his relationship and growing up a child star. I must admit, I always thought Augustine was cuter as a child, but now Gregory is definitely the handsome one. Losing some of the babyface and having a more mature look suits him very well!

    This interview shows him to be a very thoughtful, caring, sensitive and all-around good person. I think his statement here best shows what a great boyfriend he was as well: “As her boyfriend, I don’t need her to report to me all the time. Instead, most important to me is whether I can protect hēr!”
    Too bad his love and trust was taken for granted, definitely Shirley’s lost.

    It is interesting to see the differences in HK people’s thinking and here in the United States. Here, I get the general feeling that men who stay “in the shadows” of their more successful partners are actually admired, not ridiculed and emasculated. There are plenty of examples of female celebrities with their lesser known and less succesful partners and never do you see the press or public being as vicious.

    I hope that the best that can come of this is that Gregory gets more career opportunities and finds a person who will treasure him. I also hope Shirley finds what she is looking for and some happiness as well. If this were a tvb drama, right now I would fast forward to the end to see how it all turns out. 🙂

    1. @Jenny,
      Totally agree with you. I heard that that Andy guy is not rich afterall and now Shirley may have to work for her own dowry if she wants to marry him.. BUt not sure if any of it is true at all. There are still speculations that she may be pregnant. But lets see…
      Why don’t you try to learn Chinese?? Even though Jayne’s and Ah K’s translations are great, things are always lost in translation and it is always better to read the original text. But of course I understand that it is hard to do so if you don’t have any prior knowledge…

  11. WOW,great interview Jayne! DO you have the original Chinese text? I want to read his actual words?? I can relate to how Gregory feels because I have had similar experiences(with some differences too). It is really uncomfortable and hard to live within someone else’s shadow and always being only known by others just because you are associated with another person more popular or well known than you are. I hope that from now on that Gregory can truly be himself and not have to be known just because of connections with anyone.

    I thought that you would make a lot as a race car driver? I guess it just depends…

    I did not know that the young kid that played the young Hua WU Que was Augustine. All of these years I was wondering who he was…. It is great to finally know and how perfect that they played brothers in the series and are actual brothers in real life.

    1. HeTieShou,
      Kidd translated the above Gregory Lee article. Her effort shows, as it was a very long and in-depth article. Here is the Chinese link:

      I would have enjoyed it had there been less mention of Gregory’s relationship with Shirley. It makes it too bittersweet, for him to be talking about having such confidence in the relationship, yet only days later, the big break-up was announced publicly. Although the reporter harped about Gregory wanting to step away from the association as “Shirley’s boyfriend,” the article was saturated with references to their relationship and the critical public comments about Gregory dating a more successful girlfriend.

      1. Yes, when I read it, I felt such irony. He talk about how they have an understanding, trust each other and said that communication is important. But, 2 weeks later, Shirley drop a bombshell saying they are over.

        So, he actually did not understand Shirley as much as he thought he does and their communication is proven to be faulty.

      2. In one article, Lee Ka Ding mentioned that it was Gregory’s first time dating. Normally, our first loves are always the most unforgettable. First time dating and being a sensitive and quite naive person, Gregory’s views on love is more innocent than the average person today and he may have understood less of the complex dynamics that exist in today’s relationships. His love for Shirley is very pure.

        I wonder how many times Shirley intentionally took advantage of his naivety. 🙁

  12. I also wanted to add that I think it is a big loss for Shirley since Gregory is a great guy. I guess some people just don’t know how to treasure something until it is actually gone…

  13. The timeline of this interview is very speculative.

    Shirley said in her Ming Pao interview that she and Greg have already splitted in April and she started dating Andy Ng in May. But, this article was published in June 9 and according to the article, Greg still think they are going to get married.

    So, what is the truth?

    Who is lying?

    Or their relationship already have problem, but, Greg thought that they have already sorted the problem out and everything will go as planned while Shirley thought otherwise?

  14. Or the interview was done way back in April and only published in June?

    Haha, I know I’m pushing it.

  15. Interview of Greg in RTHK ‘Home Sweet Home’ (甜心家族)

    But, need to wait until part 2, minute 35.

    In this interview, he talk a little bit about Shirley only and elaborate more on his childhood acting (how he get into acting, what he went through during the ’embarrass year’ i.e. teenage year where the child actor is out of childhood but not yet adulthood) and his drifting.

    1. Seems like Greg really like drifting and serious about it. Maybe that early news could have some truth in it. Shirley didn’t this interest of his, feel like it’s a waste of money. Sometimes, girlfriend/wife won’t understand men and their toys. I remember listening ‘Rightable Wrong’ where listeners can call in and say something. One guy related how his mom forced his dad to throw away all his toy models before their marriage. 😀

      It is also interesting to see that Greg is all emo and sensitive when his relationship breakdown. Many people (not me thought) even called him not a man for crying over it publicly. But, the sports he’s interested in are all masculine/boyish sports i.e. car drifting, horseback riding, Thai boxing and skateboarding (assuming that the son who taught LDK skateboarding is Greg).

      Btw, he inherited his love of car racing from his mom, not his dad. He said his mom use to love car racing in her young days.

  16. Let’s all submit a request to tvb website to cast him in a major role or movie since hes a good actor and good looking.

  17. yeah, do you have email of TVB. I think he will be good leading actor when having this chance

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