Possessing a stubborn personality, Shirley Yeung (楊思琦) finally admitted to Ming Pao Magazine that Andy Ng (吳帥) was her new boyfriend. Shirley stated, “I admit that I handled the [break-up] situation poorly. The reason that I broke-up with Gregory Lee (李泳豪) was not due to lack of love…one of the reasons was the inability to get along with his family. They said that I lived with them without paying any expenses. I feel a great injustice…anyhow, I did not date two men at once. I am definitely not pregnant. I used pregnancy as an excuse to break-up with Gregory!”
When Shirley initially announced breaking-up with Gregory on June 28th, she chose not to reveal the true reason for the split. Although the public fiercely accused her of heartlessly leaving Gregory for new love interest, Andy Ng, stubborn Shirley believed that the innocent will remain innocent. However, with negative reports surfacing each day and countless accusations thrown upon her, Shirley spoke with Ming Pao Magazine on July 8th to clarify the situation. “You can ask me anything and I will answer you. I have been afraid to tell [the truth] because I wanted to protect Gregory. In the past, there were many negative reports about him. I did not want our break-up to induce additional negative rumors about him. However, I ended up hurting myself. I never imagined that breaking-up would become the hot topic of the entire city and with thousands of accusations thrown upon me!”
Did Not Get Along With Gregory’s Family
Shirley announced that she broke-up with Gregory for several months. However, on May 27th, she appeared at his birthday party. At the end of June, Shirley continued to visit Gregory on the set of The King Boxer <拳王>, thus the allegations started. Shirley explained the details from loving Gregory passionately to their break-up.
“Last year, problems already surfaced in our relationship. Last year, I bought a house with my family. Around February to March 2011, I started packing my belongings and moved out of [Gregory’s house] in April. I did not move in the middle of the night despite contrary tabloid reports. When I moved, Gregory and his mother were there. However, they said they did not know.”
What was the reason behind the break-up of such a long relationship? “One of the reasons was my relationship with his family. I lived with Gregory, his elder brother, Augustine (李泳漢) , and their mother, Shih Ming (施明). I tried my best to immerse with his family…despite trying to talk to them, no one would give me a response. They ignored me. When I greeted them, they regarded me [invisible like the air]. This treatment is no different than treating a stranger; how can we get along? His family can haphazardly throw my belongings around, which is very disrespectful!”
When Shirley and Gregory started dating initially and lived separately from his family, they got along the best. “When we lived in Sai Kung, his family lived upstairs. I paid the rent for the apartment unit downstairs. We got along well. Living together with another man, the normal practice is for both parties to share the bills. However, I did not mind and paid for the expenses myself. When we moved from Sai Kung to Kowloon Tong, I never imagined that his family would say that I had the most belongings and asked me to pay for the moving fee. I am only one person within the family. They had three people. At the time, I do not know how I was able to accept the situation. Do you understand? How do you discuss such hardship with other people?”
After moving to Kowloon Tong, Augustine said that the neighborhood was upscale and that there was a maid in the household. Shirley said, “I never said I wanted anything or where I wanted to live. I just wanted to continue to live with Gregory. However, I can not unilaterally put in my efforts towards his family. It requires mutual effort. My relationship with his family progressed to not talking to each other. They said that there was a maid for me to use, however, the maid did not take care of me or cook for me. The maid only took care of them [indicating Shih Ming and Augustine]. Sometimes, even Gregory did not have any dinner prepared for him.”
“At home, Shih Ming did not notice Gregory. She will criticize everything that he does. Even if he took out his entire earnings, his mother will say it is not enough money. When there was not enough money, Gregory had to use his credit card. I saw how difficult it was for him to pay back all his credit card bills. However, it was not an issue for me. However I can help, I will do so. On the other hand, Gregory’s elder brother, Augustine, did not work and would avoid responsibilities. Although Augustine and Shih Ming normally did not pay attention to Gregory, I do not know why suddenly they were so united after [the break-up incident and jointly thrust accusations upon Shirley]. Howevever, I am happy for him and hope that [the family unity] will last forever.”
Gregory was not highly regarded within the household? Shirley said, “Yes. Whenever problems came up, it took the two of us to resolve. Sometimes he could not resolve the matter. When brought home all the money, it left him with no money to buy a meal. I do not mind…even to that point, I did not leave. Seeing him so alone without support, if you do not help him, what will happen to him?
“In Gregory’s household, there would be frequent arguments every few days. One time, Augustine even physically hit Gregory heartlessly. Augustine almost broke Gregory’s arm. Many of Gregory’s friends knew about the injury; of course he did not reveal the reason why. His mother was present at the time and acted as if nothing happened. The neighbors all knew that the family frequently has arguments. When I attempted to pacify the arguments, they said it was none of my business. Beating Gregory in this manner can result in critical injuries; how can I remove myself from the situation? Since his family felt that I overstepped my lines, they were biased and dissatisfied with me.”
In an interview, Augustine stated that Shirley lived with the Lee household and did not pay even a penny for the expenses and meals. Shirley said, “I feel very unjust by the accusations. For example, they can say that the roof leaked water due to my dog causing damage. They asked me to pay for the renovation fee. It was not my fault, but they asked me to pay over $10,000 (HKD). I did not mind, but please do not say I lived there without paying for anything! I would buy things home. Gregory’s father, Lee Ka Ding (李家鼎), said that I did not treat them to meals. This is not the truth. Whatever I can help out, I will do so.”
Aside from the Lee family giving her stress, Shirley and Gregory’s family did not have contact with each other. “I am a traditional person and very filial towards my parents. Aside from the families having no contact with each other on a normal basis, they would not purchase any gifts for each other during the holidays. There was not even a phone call to each other. Gregory will not take the initiative to eat dinner with my mother. When it is my birthday and I ask my parents to attend, then everyone will gather together. Gregory avoids my family; I feel this is disrespectful!”
Was Shirley’s mother against Shirley dating Gregory? “My mother urged me to think about the future. However, she never complained that Gregory was poor. Many years ago, TVb urged me to handle my relationship in an understated manner. However, I was passionately in love then and did not heed the advice. My mother also gave me the same advice.”
Augustine accused Shirley of breaking-up with Gregory to pursue more materialistic interests. Shirley countered, “All along, I only wanted to live stably and happily with my family. I will not ride someone’s coat tails due to his wealth. I am not this type of person. If this were the case, then why would I have only one property and not several dozen properties? How come I have to act under such restraint and silence? Over the last nine years, I had other pursuers–some were even wealthy. I was never interested in them. I feel the accusations that I was greedy for money were very unfair.”
Shirley said that loving a man for nine years, how was it possible not to consider marriage? “I suggested to Gregory that we should get married after dating for nine years. He told me that getting married would be very simple–just signing the marriage certificate would suffice. I said that getting married was not simply about the celebration, but rather required planning for the future. What if we were to have children? How will we establish a family? However, he did not answer me. I asked him again, ‘What will we do?’ He asked for time to think about the matter. I waited and waited, but he did not answer me. He said that he discussed with his family about our marriage at the end of the year. However, I did not know about this. No one proposed to me. With so many problems before us, how can we think about marriage? This year, the problems in our relationship grew bigger and came forth like a large snowball, cracking our relationship. This year, I waited for him and gave him many chances.”
Was the major contributing factor to Gregory and Shirley’s break-up the entry of third party, Andy Ng, a former Olympic diver? Some rumors claimed that Andy was Shirley’s old classmate, while other rumors claimed that they met at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and dated from then onwards. “None of the above. Andy is not my old classmate. We were friends before I entered the entertainment industry, before I even met Gregory. Andy and I were only acquaintances and never dated in the past. We lost contact with each other for many years until we met again last year. We were only friends until I broke up with Gregory and moved out of his house. Afterwards, Andy and I started dating slowly. I know clearly that I did not date two men at the same time. It is very unfair to call him a ‘third party.'”
“Rumors claiming that Andy is a wealthy businessman are also false. He is just an employee. If I wanted to meet a rich man, I would not have waited until now. I am very angry with tabloid accusations that I already cheated behind Gregory’s back. These allegations are completely false! They were completely exaggerated and disgusting. Why did they use such descriptions; did they know anything about the inside story?”
Shirley Denies Being Pregnant
In Shirley’s break-up with Gregory, the public was most interested in whether she was truly pregnant. Shirley said quickly, “I am not pregnant…I did not request a nine-month vacation. Perhaps, my biggest mistake was that I hoped Gregory’s heart would let go of the relationship. I was looking for an excuse and sent him a text message: ‘I started a relationship with another man. We even conceived a baby together. The only thing I can do is to not continue the mistake and marry this man and hold onto the baby!'”
Shirley’s Love Message to Gregory
“Since Gregory did not want me to publicly reveal the break-up, he tried to contact me continuously. He was unwilling to let go and wanted to hold onto the relationship. The back-and-forth lasted for a long time. I was afraid that Gregory would commit a rash act [suicide] since he often sent me text messages or called me, noting that he would race his car at night or go up Lantau Peak. I thought if I said that I was pregnant with another man’s baby, he would let go of his feelings completely.”
After breaking-up with Gregory, why did Shirley send a text message stating that she missed him and loved him? Shirley took out her cell phone and pointed to the text message she had sent Gregory. The message basically stated that although the pair loved each other deeply and although they were no longer together, Shirley will continue to support Gregory but will marry Andy Ng.
In Gregory’s text messages to Shirley, he wrote that he missed her and loved her. Shirley said, “As a result, I returned his message and said that I still loved him and missed him. However, I was pregnant and could no longer be with him. Gregory’s brother, Augustine, only selected one phrase to make an outcry. I never considered that our private conversations will be revealed publicly. I am very angry, but you can say that I did not handle the situation properly. I did not know what to do to prompt Gregory to let go, thus I said I was pregnant. I only wanted us to have new lives ahead.”
Escalating to the current situation, Shirley faced numerous criticisms. At this point, Shirley started crying and could not talk. She quickly walked away and halted the interview. She prohibited the photographer from taking photos of her crying, “I do not want people to say I am crying for pity.” Shirley dried her tears and said, “It is difficult for me to act so heartlessly. I was afraid that the break-up would be a big shock to Gregory. Who knew that the incident would be a bigger blow to myself? If I had handled the situation with more detachment, then perhaps I would have been able to avoid the current negative criticisms.”
“The inability for us to be together was not due to lack of love. Many issues surfaced in our relationship. I want to find a person who can take care of me, not through monetary means, but rather a person that I can rely on for the rest of my life who can give me happiness. I want to get married and have children. It is that simple.”
Source: Ming Pao Magazine # 2226
Jayne: I found Shirley’s interview quite moving, as her wish to find a man to take care of her is similar to many women’s wishes. It is not necessarily about money, but rather a strong, confident man who can help us to resolve problems and be an equal partner, instead of a weaker man such as Gregory who not only had problems making ends meet, but did not seem to know how to resolve problems on his own.
Obviously Shirley loved Gregory deeply to be with him for nine years. Living with Gregory’s family caused problems; her situation was similar to a married woman having lifestyle problems with her in-laws (not talking to each other despite living in same household, lack of respect for Shirley’s belongings, frequent arguments etc.). Shirley was dealing with typical in-law issues while she was not married to Gregory.
Money also came across as a BIG issue for Shirley. Although she mentioned she did not mind paying for certain things, money came up several times in the interview. It appears that she did not pay rent while living with the Lee household in Kowloon Tong and Gregory may have been the person financially holding the family together. Allegedly, Augustine was irresponsible and did not work while Shih Ming often complained that Gregory did not bring home enough money. Although Shirley said she would help whenever possible, I have a feeling that Shirley was quite protective of her own money. She was likely disgusted by the Lee family’s situation and did not want to contribute her hard-earned money to benefit Augustine and Shih Ming. Apparently, Shirley never bought a moon cake, but did pay for the roof renovation and bought things home.
I do believe that due to Gregory’s weak personality and lack of planning for the future, his brother and mother acting as “free-loaders,” coupled with Shirley’s advancing age and greater need for security all led to growing dissatisfaction in the relationship, to the point that it was easy for her to fall for another man, any man who represented the opposite of Gregory may have stolen her heart. Shirley may not require a rich man, but she wanted a stable man who can offer her security rather than Gregory, whom she probably saw a bleak future with.
This is one of the most heart-breaking celebrity love relationships I have come across in recent years. I do feel deep sorrow for Gregory. Shirley’s rationale may have been justifying in wanting to leave Gregory, but her lying about being pregnant may not have been the best move. Also, I do believe that she did fall for Andy and perhaps their relationship progressed to a certain state before she suddenly became so decisive in wanting to end things with Gregory.