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.”
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!”
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 JayneStars.com.