Gigi Chao with her father Cecil
Following her public plea for acceptance, a Hong Kong tycoon has withdrawn the reward offered to any man who could convince his lesbian daughter to turn straight.
Property mogul Cecil Chao (77) first issued the headline-making HK$500million (around R7 billion) offer two years ago, leading to 20,000 would be suitors coming forward. He then recently doubled the reward.
His daughter Gigi (33), who married her female partner of nine years, Sean Eav, in France in 2012, responded last week with a poignant letter publicly pleading for her father to accept her sexual orientation, and her wife.
On Thursday, Cecil announced that he was withdrawing the reward.
“If Gigi’s said that this is what she chooses, then it’s all over,” Cecil told CNN’s Monita Rajpal. “I can’t say I am happy with her choice. If this is her choice then it’s for her.”
Sadly, it does not appear that he will accept his daughter’s wife as part of the family. He said that “I have no intention of mixing my life with her life. But if this is what she wants, then I respect her choice.”
Cecil, however, has apparently still not abandoned all hope that Gigi will one day consider dating and marrying a man. He explained that while his reward was now off the table, it was only “for the time being… Until she changes her mind.”
It appears that father and daughter have conducted the entire coming out experience through the media and have never actually sat down to discuss the matter face to face.
Cecil claims that Gigi never directly told him that she was lesbian, even though they work together every day, and that he only read about it in the papers.