Monday, July 14, 2008

No tears, no anger

July 14, 2008

Actress Carina Lau talks about the men who abducted her in 1990, actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai and billionaire Terry Gou

HONG KONG - Actress Carina Lau has bared all in an interview with Hong Kong novelist Eunice Lam published last Friday.

For the first time in 18 years, she spoke about her traumatic experience in April 1990. She was kidnapped by triad members and photographed naked after she refused to act in a movie the triad was involved in.

Pictures taken during the incident were leaked in 2002 and one was published on the cover of a magazine, causing a sensation in Hong Kong's showbiz scene.

In the interview, Lau revealed she was kidnapped as she was driving to actor Michael Miu Kiu Wai's house at around 3am on April 25, 1990.

'A triad leader wanted me to act in a film. I refused. So they punished me. On my way to Miu's house, they bundled me into a car and blindfolded me. I was very scared that they will kill me and leave my body in a remote area. I kept chanting 'Namo Guanshiyin Pusa' (a Buddhist prayer),' she said.

'Before that, I had already received threatening phone calls... I was so scared I did not even dare to close my eyes when shampooing my hair.'

Reports later said she was assaulted, with rumours that she was raped. East Week magazine, which printed a cover picture of her half-naked, was forced to fold after outraged protests from the showbiz community.

There were no tears nor agitation when the actress finally spilled the beans to Lam.

Lam told Apple Daily after the interview was published last Friday in Guangzhou's Nanfang Daily newspaper: 'She was easygoing, open-minded and confident.'

Her comments appeared to confirm that the interview took place despite reports in Taiwan questioning why Lau spoke about her ordeal just when she was due to marry actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai, and whether the interview or its contents were fabricated.

Asked why Lau decided to spill the beans to her, Lam, a socialite who is well known as the ex-lover of the late Hong Kong songwriter James Wong, said: 'It was trust.'

In the interview, Lau said she does not hate the four men who abducted her. 'They did not assault me. They were only following orders. In my heart, I am grateful to them.'

She said as their car tailed hers, she sped into the carpark and crashed the barrier. She was then nabbed.

She said her boyfriend, actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai, supported her through the crisis. After she was released two hours later to Mui's house, 'Tony did not say a thing, he simply hugged me and asked, 'Are you okay?''.

Leung later found out who ordered the kidnapping, but Lau still ended up shooting the film for free for her abductors. She said, however, that Leung dropped his work and accompanied her to the filming in Holland.

Hong Kong triads were a powerful presence in the territory's showbusiness in the 1990s, with reports even of an A-list actor being forced at gunpoint to act in a movie and another actress being made to go nude in a film.

Talk had it then that Lau was offered a role in 1987 by a triad leader from Holland, Cai Ziming. Cai was shot dead in 1992 by a gunman in Hong Kong.

But Lau, who was born in Suzhou, China, said the East Week incident had a positive impact on her life too.

She said: 'I used to feel inferior thinking that people deride me for being a 'China girl', until the photo appeared and the Hong Kong people supported me. I did not expect that. I want to thank everyone. I was so touched. After that incident, I was rid of inferior feelings about being a 'China girl'.'

She also spoke for the first time about Taiwanese billionaire Terry Gou, who courted her last year. 'I did not fall in love with him, but he had feelings for me,' she said.

She also revealed that her romance with tycoon Julian Hui in the 1980s had fizzled out because she fell in love with Leung after meeting him while working together on a stage show.

'There are three things in life - birth, death and marriage. Marriage is a must,' she said on why she is marrying Leung after 19 years together.

'I will take care of my husband my whole life. Tony is a small kid. Every man is a small kid.'

Unconfirmed reports have put their wedding day as either in this month or October.

[Congrats to a brave and confident woman, who is able to rise above such trauma. I am impressed by her "gratitude" to her abductors.]

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