Singapore — The scandal of Mandopop star Wang Leehom’s acrimonious split from his wife Lee Jinglei that exploded last weekend has everyone and his neighbour talking, and now, even the Communist Party of China.
“The recent case of the collapse of a celebrity’s image has once again proven that the words and actions of public figures receive a lot of attention and their actions make an impact on society,” wrote the CCDI.
The party’s Central Committee of Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI) reminded celebrities of their moral responsibility to set an example for the rest of society.
“If these stars do not discipline themselves, they will not be respected by others. They will eventually pay for their evildoings.”
There is no mention of Wang and Lee’s names in the party’s statement on Sunday (Dec 19), but context, as they say, is everything.
Recent revelations about the Taiwanese-American Mandopop singer’s beleaguered marriage to Lee, who is 10 years his junior and not in show business, have been followed closely in mainland China, Taiwan, and other parts of Asia.
Wang was also criticised by the China Women’s Newspaper. It said: “An open and tolerant society accepts creative music styles; however, it does not mean the society accepts a star’s promiscuous private life, nor his recklessness or a flawless-but-fake image.”
All this aligns with what China’s President Xi Jinping said earlier in December, that those in show business must “pursue both professional excellence and moral integrity”, and that the “moral atmosphere in the entertainment sector will affect the ecology of both the industry and society”.
Married in 2013, Wang and Lee announced on Dec 15 that they had filed for divorce but rumours of their break-up had been circulating since June.
“Jinglei and I live very simple private lives, so we will not be responding to any media enquiries. I’ve had too many shortcomings during my marriage these past few years, and I feel very regretful,” he said.
“Now, we have different ideas and plans for the future, so we have decided to live separate lives,” he said in a Facebook post.
However, following the announcement, discoveries about their eight-year marriage, including allegations of adultery, bribery and marital strife, began circulating online last weekend.
Using social media on Dec 17, Lee released a multipage letter detailing Wang’s numerous infidelities during their marriage.
Following the publication of that letter, Wang quickly lost his contracts with car and jewellery brands, including Infiniti China and Chow Tai Seng.
Then Wang’s father decided to air his side of the story, contacting Taiwanese media with a letter claiming that Lee had forced Wang into marriage after getting pregnant and threatened to release a tell-all to the media.
Lee countered this on Sunday, uploading another letter on her Instagram account, saying she felt sad that Wang’s 80-year-old father had to lie to defend his son.
And on Monday (Dec 20), the Mandopop star announced in a Facebook post that he is taking a break from the industry, for now, to give his parents and three children attention as they heal from the fallout of the split.
He said: “I didn’t manage my marriage well, caused problems for everyone, and didn’t upkeep the image that an idol should have. It was all my fault. I sincerely apologise to my parents, Jinglei and our children. It’s meaningless now to talk about the past since we are already divorced.
“From now on, I will work on my actions and behaviour, and fulfil the responsibilities that a father, son and public figure have.” /TISG