Gigi Chao tells daddy to retract offer of HK$500m to any man who will marry her
Amy Nip and Vivienne Chow
Gigi Chao, who recently announced she had married her girlfriend, wants her father, Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, to retract his HK$500 million bounty for a suitable man to marry her.
But he says the "manhunt" is for her own good and will offer her "one more choice in life" other than her same-sex partner.
The highly public exchange via the media, and the flood of proposals from all over the world in response to Chao's offer, have come before the pair have had time to talk it over face to face.
But Gigi still found time yesterday to wish her father happy birthday - he turns 77 today - and to thank him for being "sweet".
The offer by Chao, owner of Cheuk Nang (Holdings), came days after Gigi announced that she had married her long-time girlfriend, Sean Eav, five months ago. Since then, around 1,500 friend requests, proposals and messages have flooded into her social network accounts.
But her playboy father, although sounding stressed, insisted the plan to find her a husband must go on. "It just offers her one more choice in life. She is in charge to make the final decision," he said. "People have been mistaken in thinking that I would pick the man for her. How is it possible? It's not Romeo and Juliet and I won't stop her from seeing anyone."
The overwhelming response has taken him by surprise, but he does not see the need to retract the offer, saying: "We can leave them alone for the time being."
In response, Gigi thanked him and said: "Please wish him a very happy birthday. His baby girl will always find him the most handsome man in the known universe and irreplaceable as a father and love him very much."
However, she gave no hint of accepting any of the suitors.
"I am sure daddy is enjoying being the king, seeing all these handsome men from distant lands beg for his daughter's hand," she said. "I hate to be the one bursting his daydream bubble, but hello, it's 2012."
Hong Kong musician Anthony Wong Yiu-ming, who came out as gay at a recent concert by his group, Tat Ming Pair, said Chao senior was living in an obsolete world. "Using money to change one's sexual orientation and choice of love is an unacceptable way of thinking," Wong said.