Gigi Chao, lesbian daughter of Hong Kong billionaire Cecil Chao, appeals to father over 'marriage bounty'

Gigi Chao tells father: 'I'll marry a man when he marries a man'

The daughter of a billionaire property tycoon who doubled a marriage bounty on her head has published an open letter asking her father to accept her for who she is.

Shipping magnate and property developer Cecil Chao Sze-tsung made global headlines in September 2012 when he offered a reward to the man who could persuade his daughter Gigi to marry him, despite the fact she had already entered into a civil partnership with her female partner of almost nine years, Sean Eav.

£40m for man who woos mogul's lesbian daughter

The 77-year-old then reportedly doubled the money on offer to HK $1billion (£80m) after his first offer attracted 20,000 unsuccessful responses.

In an interview with a Malaysian magazine, he also insisted it is "not too late" to change his daughter's mind on her sexuality, and was quoted as saying: “I don’t want to interfere with my daughter’s private life. I only hope for her to have a good marriage and children as well as inherit my business.”

Hong Kong billionaire Cecil Chao 'doubles marriage bounty to £80m' for man who marries his lesbian daughter 

In a letter to her father published on Wednesday by two Hong Kong newspapers, Ms Chao said she said understood it may be “difficult for you to understand, let alone accept” how she could be romantically attracted to a woman.

Gigi Chao pictured with her father, Cecil Gigi Chao pictured with her father, Cecil In regards to her partner, Ms Chao, 34, added that “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: "I do love my partner Sean, who does a good job of looking after me, ensuring I am fed, bathed and warm enough every day, and generally cheering me up to be a happy, jolly girl. She is a large part of my life, and I am a better person because of her.

"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.

"There are plenty of good men, they are just not for me."

In a separate interview with The Times, she said: "Since Dad thinks it's so easy for me to switch from gay to straight, I should just leave it for him to demonstrate. I think I'll marry a man when he marries a man," she said.

The South China Morning Post, one of the papers that published the letter, reported last week that Ms Chao has received "strange" phone calls from would-be suitors since her father made his comments, and that most open by saying, "I want to be a billionaire!"

In an interview with the newspaper last year, Ms Chao said it was difficult dealing with the sudden publicity after Mr Chao "threw her out of the closet", because "Hong Kong is horrible at accepting and welcoming diversity."

Ms Chao is an executive director of luxury property development company Cheuk Nang, which has projects in Hong Kong, China, Macau and Malaysia. Ms Chao is now considered as a LGBT activist and has become closely involved in Big Love Alliance, a gay rights group that lobbies the government to pass anti-discrimination legislation.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee