Hong Kong woman at centre of sex scandal involving Auckland mayor

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 October, 2013, 8:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 October, 2013, 8:02am

A woman born and raised in Hong Kong is at the centre of a high-profile political sex scandal that threatens to bring down the mayor of Auckland.

Bevan Chuang Ka-yan, 32, revealed her illicit two-year affair with Auckland Mayor Len Brown, 57, days after he was re-elected for a second term.

The pair met at a council function when Chuang was on the Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel. An aspiring politician, Chuang studied at Chinese International School until 1996, when she emigrated with family members to New Zealand.

Chuang, who is currently in hiding, said she felt regret about making the revelations and the "hurt and pain" that the saga had caused because her own family had been devastated by her father's infidelity. She said she understood how traumatic the situation would be for Brown's wife and three children.

On a radio show earlier, Chuang spoke candidly about being a mistress: "I don't need to be someone's toy. In Asian countries, you have a lot of married men who go and find a mistress but they go and spend heaps of money on them. Kiwi men don't do that. I'm not getting any financial gain out of this either.

"It is one of those things where my mum said to me … 'If you want to be someone's mistress, there has to be something out of it - either love or money or fame, some sort of status or travel.'

"But if I don't get any of that, it's not one that I want to consider," she added.

Although she has made New Zealand her home, Chuang keeps close ties with Hong Kong. She has links with many New Zealand-based Chinese community groups, including the New Zealand Chinese Association Auckland.

Chuang states on her LinkedIn page that through her career - in media and business - she has had "significant community involvement with a focus on the celebration and integration of Chinese and other migrant communities within Auckland".

Chuang's revelation was met with allegations that it was politically motivated. Chuang was reported to be a supporter of Brown's rival John Palino during his recent election campaign - although she voted for Brown. The story of her relationship with Brown was broken by Cameron Slater, son of Palino's campaign manager. Slater denied being part of a political smear campaign.

On her Facebook page, Chuang wrote: "Thank you to my family and friends who have been so supportive of me over the last few days … I deeply regret what has happened recently.

"I have been foolish, but I feel used, abused and manipulated by people I thought were friends who have been taking snippets of what I have said to advance their own political agendas and muck-raking campaigns."