Born in 1936, Cecil Chao Sze-tsung is a Hong Kong based real estate tycoon and chairman of HK-listed developer Cheuk Nang Holdings. Known for his flamboyant playboy lifestyle, Chao raised eyebrows the world over in September 2012 when he announced a HK$ 500 million bounty to look for a man who could win the heart of his daughter Gigi Chao, who is believed to be lesbian and have married her partner in a civil union overseas.
Property heir Gigi Chao has laugh over father's bounty on her heart
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Gigi Chao, the daughter of property tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, said she thought the HK$500 million marriage bounty offered by her father to find her a husband was "quite entertaining".
Speaking in a light-hearted tone, Chao told the Post: "He [her father] has an interesting interpretation of me."
Just a week ago, she was quoted in the Beijing press as saying that she had wed her gay partner of seven years, Sean Eav, five months ago in France.
Although the country has yet to recognise gay marriage legally, it was understood that the two walked down the aisle in a church.
Asked if her father was cross about her alleged same-sex marriage because of his pronounced heterosexuality - having reputedly had 10,000 girlfriends - Gigi replied: "He loves the attention."
As to whether she has indeed been "wed", the 33-year-old said she would neither confirm nor deny the rumours. The same goes for her sexual orientation: "I'm not afraid to admit anything. But I do want to respect my parents," she said.
Chao senior, 76, on Monday denied Gigi had married. The owner of Cheuk Nang (Holdings) then initiated a bridegroom hunt, saying any talented man with a good heart could approach him, and he would pay HK$500 million - or five times as much as the prize money from the Mark Six lottery last week - if he succeeded in winning his daughter's heart.
On the other side of the table, Gigi Chao said she would wait and see. "Sometimes people just refuse to accept what they are told. Let time be the witness."
Eav, the other person involved in the saga, was feeling OK, she said.
Hong Kong is still more conservative than Europe or the United States when it comes to accepting homosexuality. "It's still an uncomfortable issue for many people," Chao said.
Canto-pop star Anthony Wong Yiu-ming, who announced he was gay earlier this year, said he was happy about Gigi's "marriage" and praised her as "courageous". "It's good that a public figure supports the cause. It helps to assure those who are still in the closet, scared," he said.