BEIJING, May 31 (Xinhuanet) -- Another episode in the bumpy marriage of Hong Kong heartthrobs Nicholas Tse and Cecilia Cheung was revealed yesterday when a radio announcer said the seemingly-happy couple had been involved in a long-running dispute over property.
Eileen Cha, a Hong Kong radio show host who claims to be a close friend of Tse's family, dismissed rumors that the couple had divorced but said their relationship was "rocky" after actress Cheung had her second baby and returned to the film industry while Tse concentrated on his career as a singer and actor.
Disputes, especially over money issues, had increased, Cha said, and the couple had frequent arguments.
She said Cheung had asked Tse to transfer ownership of all his properties, including a US$1 million villa Tse bought for his father, to her name. Cha said Tse had agreed but Cheung then asked Tse to sell his shares in a lucrative company that he owned.
"It seemed as though Cecilia wanted to drain Nicholas of all his assets and property - when I heard this news about Cecilia, I actually didn't really believe it myself," Cha said.
Rumors of a divorce began after reports that Cheung and Edison Chen sat together on a flight from Taiwan to Hong Kong on May 8.
Cheung was one of the women involved in a notorious photo scandal three years ago.
Cheung had been married to Tse for two years when the scandal broke after Chen indirectly caused intimate photos of Cheung and himself to be leaked onto the Internet in 2008.
Tabloid speculation that Cheung had reconciled with Chen was said to have upset Tse and had led him to demand a separation.
But Tse, who is shooting an action thriller in Malaysia, issued a statement yesterday saying he had never requested a separation.
Tse said he would take legal action against "false reports " in yesterday's Apple Daily, a Hong Kong newspaper.
Tse's agent said the actor was in good mood and would be back to Hong Kong by July.
Tse's father, Patrick, told reporters he didn't know anything about his son and daughter-in-law.
"Now everyone claims he knows an inside story. You can also write some inside stories if you like," he told a reporter in an interview with 163.com, a news website, yesterday.
Cheung was not available for comment.
The couple's marriage has weathered waves of gossip and controversy after the photo scandal.
Many praised Tse for his support for Cheung following the photo scandal.
The couple had two sons and often showed off their romance by behaving lovingly in public, winning the hearts of their many fans.
But according to Cha's radio program yesterday, this was merely a facade in the best interests of their children and their families.
(Source: Shanghai Daily)