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.
My daughter's lesbian partner is not welcome in this family, says Gigi Chao's father as he withdraws 'dowry' offer
The deal is off. For the time being. Cecil Chao Sze-tsung has rescinded his HK$1 billion proposal to find his daughter a good husband, but insists Gigi’s lesbian partner will never be part of the family.
After announcing last week that he was doubling the original deal for HK$500 million, the property tycoon told CNN Television on Thursday that he was retracting the offer.
“Her private life is hers,” Chao said, adding that it didn’t matter whether or not he accepted it. "If this is her choice, then it’s for her," said Chao.
But it seems the 77 year-old Chao is holding on to a glimmer of hope, “If this is the way she wants to be, for the time being it’s all over.” Asked what he meant by ‘for the time being’, Chao replied, “Because she is only 33. Life changes. I mean I changed a lot when I was 33 to now.”
While he said he respects his daughter’s choice, he will never accept her partner of nine years, Sean Eav.
“I don’t have to accept her partner. It’s for she (sic) to accept her partner,” he said. The reporter followed up by asking if he welcomed her partner into the family. Chao replied: “No.”
The conflicted father daughter duo have been once again thrown into the spotlight in recent days after Gigi’s well-broadcast response to her father’s outlandish declaration doubling his initial offer of a dowry, which he first made in 2012.
"I don’t think my dad’s offering of any amount of money would be able to attract a man I would find attractive," Gigi told the South China Morning Post in an exclusive interview.
Just days later, Gigi penned on open letter to her father. “In terms of relationships, your expectations of me and the reality of who I am, are not coherent,” Gigi wrote.
Gigi expressed frustration at the way her father behaves towards her partner. “It would mean the world to me if you could just not be so terrified of her, and treat her like a normal, dignified human being,” Gigi wrote in the letter which was published in the Post on Tuesday.
In yesterday’s interview, Cecil Chao appeared hurt by the way he had learnt that Gigi is a lesbian, saying: “She never tell (sic) me in person, I saw it on the paper.”