Tycoon offers a huge dowry for his gay daughter

HONG KONG — The daughter of a flamboyant Hong Kong tycoon who has offered $65 million to any man who can woo her away from her lesbian partner said she’s not upset with her father. Still, it’s unlikely she will be accepting any of the marriage proposals flooding in.

Cecil Chao made world headlines this week when he offered the 500 million Hong Kong dollar marriage bounty after learning that his daughter, Gigi Chao, had eloped with her partner to France.

“I’m actually on very, very loving terms with my father. We speak on a daily basis. He just has a very interesting way of expressing his fatherly love,” the 33-year-old told The Associated Press.

She said her father offered the reward because he was upset after learning she had “a church blessing in Paris” with her girlfriend of the past several years.

“What this whole episode really highlights is that perhaps still, the Chinese — or in fact the Hong Kong mentality — can perhaps tolerate the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ view of sexuality,” she said. “But as a social statement, it’s still very much a sensitive issue.”

Hong Kong decriminalized homosexuality in 1991, but it does not legally recognize same-sex marriage.

Cecil Chao is the chairman of Hong Kong property developer Cheuk Nang Holdings and has a reputation for being a playboy. He once claimed to have had 10,000 girlfriends but has never married. He’s also known for his love of Rolls-Royces and for being a qualified helicopter pilot, a skill he shares with Gigi Chao, one of his three children by three different women.

Cecil Chao said Friday in a separate interview with the AP that reports that his daughter had married were just rumors. He added that he has received hundreds of offers from suitors since he made the offer and his daughter has probably had thousands.

“I was very surprised about the reaction from around the world,” said the 76-year-old tycoon, sporting gold mirrored sunglasses and a sport jacket over an unbuttoned polo shirt. “Thousands of people writing to say they want to be my in-laws.”

He said he’s offering the money because he wants to make sure his daughter has a comfortable life in Hong Kong, which he believes will require a house worth HK$150 million ($19 million). The rest of the money can be used for “investments,” he said.

“Living a comfortable life in Hong Kong, not super-luxury, takes HK$500 million,” he said.

When asked whether she would accept an eligible suitor, Gigi Chao laughed off the question, saying, “We’ll just worry about that when the time comes.”

More in Local News

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Small fire breaks out at haunted house in Everett

Plastic that was supposed to be noncombustable was sitting next to a hot lightbulb.

Rules of the road for ‘extra-fast pedestrians’ — skateboarders

State traffic law defines them as pedestrians, and yet they are often in the middle of the street.

Distress beacon leads rescuers to Pacific Crest Trail hikers

Two men in their 20s had encountered snow and waited two nights for a helicopter rescue.

City of Everett to give $400K to a nonprofit housing project

The city expects to enter a contract with HopeWorks, an affiliate of Housing Hope.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Some damage undone: Thousands of heroin needles removed

Hand Up Project volunteers cleaned up a patch of woods that some of them had occupied near Everett.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

Most Read