Skip to main content

Hong Kong tycoon's lesbian daughter asks him to accept who she is

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 2:22 PM EST, Wed January 29, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Gigi Chao writes an open letter to her father that is published in local papers
  • In 2012, he offered a huge dowry to any man who married her
  • A Malaysian newspaper reported this month that he is willing to double the offer
  • But his daughter urges him to accept her sexuality and her longtime female partner

Hong Kong (CNN) -- The lesbian daughter of a Hong Kong tycoon who has offered millions of dollars to any man who can win her heart is asking him to come to terms with her sexuality.

"As your daughter, I would want nothing more than to make you happy," Gigi Chao writes to her father, Cecil, in an open letter published Wednesday in two local newspapers. "But in terms of relationships, your expectations of me and the reality of who I am, are not coherent."

Cecil Chao, a wealthy real estate developer, made headlines around the world in 2012 when he offered 500 million Hong Kong dollars (roughly $65 million) to any man who succeeded in marrying his daughter.

The only requirement is that the man "loves my daughter, and she loves him," he said at the time.

$64M to marry my gay daughter

He proposed the multimillion dollar dowry after it emerged that Gigi Chao and her longtime female partner, Sean Eav, had their relationship blessed in a church ceremony in Paris.

His refusal to accept the relationship leaped back into the news in Hong Kong this month after a Malaysian newspaper that interviewed him reported that he might be willing to double his dowry offer.

Men are 'just not for me'

The renewed media glare appears to have prompted Gigi Chao, 34, to pen her heartfelt letter. She confirmed to CNN that she wrote it.

"I am sorry that people have been saying insensitive things about you lately," she writes to her father, stressing that she "will always forgive you for thinking the way you do, because I know you think you are acting in my best interests."

She says she takes responsibility for some of her father's misplaced expectations.

When he first announced the huge dowry in 2012, she said at the time she found it "quite entertaining."

But now she appears to be setting the record straight.

"I'm sorry to mislead you to think I was only in a lesbian relationship because there was a shortage of good, suitable men in Hong Kong," she writes. "There are plenty of good men, they are just not for me."

Plea to accept partner

She says that she felt "an indescribable discomfort" in the presence of boyfriends she had in the past. But with 46-year-old Eav, she says she is "comfortable and satisfied with my life and completely at ease with her."

Her 77-year-old father has never married, earning a reputation for appearing on the pages of local newspapers and magazines in the arms of beautiful women. He once reportedly bragged of having had 10,000 girlfriends.

Gigi Chao says in her letter that she regrets that her father has "no idea how happy I am with my life."

She also urges him to try to accept her female 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," she writes.

CNN's Anjali Tsui and Tim Schwarz contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:10 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
In South Korea, volunteer divers are risking their lives to rescue victims of the sunken ferry.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Park Jee Young, 22, helped passengers escape as the Sewol ferry sank -- giving out life jackets while refusing to wear one herself.
updated 12:43 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
What did outgoing manager David Moyes get wrong in his six months with English Premier League football team Manchester United?
updated 5:25 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
In honor of Shakespeare's birthday, here are 15 of the world's most amazing theaters.
updated 1:34 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
CNN exclusive: Australian officials are hammering out a new agreement for widening the Flight 370 search area.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Malaysian officials sent to brief Chinese families are armed with little to no information.
updated 11:45 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
When a team of Indian surgeons opened up the stomach of a 63-year-old man, they had no idea they'd extract a fortune.
updated 3:01 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Do these photos CNN of gun-toting men wearing green uniforms prove Russian forces are in eastern Ukraine?
updated 11:20 AM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
If the Duchess wears it, then your fashion career is sorted for life.
updated 9:30 PM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Tucked away near the border with Cameroon, this poor corner of Nigeria is no stranger to such brazen, violent acts.
updated 8:34 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
An infant mountain Gorilla sits in the dense jungle canopy on the edge of Uganda's Bwindi National Park in this 29, January 2007 photo. Bwindi, or the 'Impenetrable Forest' as it is known to many tourists is home to the majority of Uganda's rare and endangered mountain gorilla population where plans are underway to habituate two more gorilla family groups to counter growing demand from a flourishing gorilla trek tourism business, a major source of income for the Uganda tourism Authority. AFP PHOTO / STUART PRICE. (Photo credit should read STUART PRICE/AFP/Getty Images)
Tthe constant threat of poaching, deforestation and human diseases means the world's mountain gorillas could be completely wiped out.
updated 9:33 AM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Prince George takes a special interest in an Australian animal on a zoo trip.
updated 10:02 PM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
How could a teenage stowaway survive hours in a jet's sub-zero wheel well at 38,000 feet?
updated 9:40 AM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 6:58 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
See what life is like for superyacht stewardesses-in-training. One thing's for certain -- they can never say "no."
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Home of Bruce Lee, divine dim sum, lofty buildings, loftier real estate prices and easy access to the great outdoors.
ADVERTISEMENT