If you’ve been keeping up with Wang Leehom’s scandal, rapid developments may have left you confused. On our hand, we found ourselves reading one thing at night and then waking up to find out that new claims had been made at two or three am.
With Wang Leehom having released an apology letter to his ex-wife Li Jinglei on today (20 December), we decided to create a timeline to track the progress of the situation so far.
On 15 December 2021 (Wednesday), Wang Leehom took to Facebook to share that he and Li Jinglei had filed for a divorce. In his post, he starts off with “Jinglei and I live very simple and unsophisticated private lives, so we won’t be responding to any more media queries”.
He further goes on to say that he didn’t do well in too many aspects during the marriage and expressed his regrets. He cited their different ideas for the future as the reason for the split and asked everyone to give them privacy.
Quickly after his announcement, rumours started to spread that the reason for the divorce was that Li Jinglei and Wang Leehom’s mother couldn’t get along. Taiwanese media claimed that while his mother used to handle the 45-year-old’s finances, Jinglei took over that when she married him.
On top of that, it was going around that Jinglei had tried to involve herself in Wang Leehom’s career despite not knowing anything about showbiz.
Surprisingly for us, our little country’s name was also pulled into the mix when a netizen made a Facebook post accusing Wang Leehom of cheating with BY2 member Yumi, a Singaporean singer, on Li Jinglei back in 2013.
Wang’s manager responded to Taiwanese media outlet ETtoday to clear the air and label them as false accusations.
In the middle of the night on 17 December 2021, Li Jinglei went to social media platforms to share a lengthy letter detailing disturbing aspects of Wang Leehom’s personality and his role as a husband. Here are the key points to note:
- Li Jinglei gave up her job and personal life to bear children for her ex-husband who is 10 years older than her
- During the eight-year-long marriage, she spent most of her time trying to get pregnant, bearing children, and nursing
- The reason why Wang Leehom wanted to split up was so he could live a ‘single life’.
- She was made to sign an unfair prenuptial agreement
- The person who controls his finances and that causes them to fight isn’t her
- Wang Leehom said that he would protect her and the family during the divorce
- Wang Leehom refused to clear the air regarding Li Jinglei and his mother due to having said he will not answer any more media questions. An hour later, Li found out that he had cleared the air regarding his alleged infidelity with BY2’s Yumi
- States that Wang Leehom had friends with benefits that he called “good friends”
- One of the women he was with posted a photo of him on IG and called him ‘Hong Hong’ in her caption, only to delete it
- They met when she was 16 years old and Wang Leehom was 26
- He was with his ex-girlfriend when he called Li Jinglei to go to his house and sleep with him
- He called prostitutes, and there is video evidence for this
- He continued his playboy ways after getting married
- He was an absent father
Soon after the expose, Infiniti China terminated their partnership with the Mandopop star. Over the course of the next few days, Chow Tai Seng, Green Monday, and a manufacturer of e-learning products dropped him as well.
In response to being implicated in the rumours surrounding Wang Leehom (she is allegedly the woman who posted on IG), Yumi posted a picture on her Weibo showing a police report. In the caption, she says that words can kill and apologises to the police staff for lodging a report so late at night.
Li Jinglei swiftly replied, asking Yumi for the police contact details so that she can give them the evidence.
Throughout this, Wang Leehom had yet to say anything publicly. Instead, he cancelled all his remaining events in China for the year and flew back to Taiwan.
Wang Tachung reached out to Apple Daily TW with a handwritten letter to give his recount of the events. Here are the key points he made about the situation between Li Jinglei and Wang Leehom:
- She baby trapped him and threatened to expose his secrets ad ruin the artist’s career
- He worked hard to fix the issues in the marriage
- He would spend hours with the kids every day, and when he was overseas, he would interact with them online
- Jinglei’s essay was a deliberate and calculated post, not a spur of the moment thing
- She demanded hundreds of millions of Taiwanese dollars, two maids, a nanny, a dedicated driver, and the living and education expenses for the children. All of these have been given to her
- “Leehom is not a scum”
With such an accusatory letter being made public, Li Jinglei responded with another lengthy post on 19 December 2021. In her IG caption, she says that she cannot believe that at his old age, Wang Leehom’s father has to lie and take such pictures for his 45-year-old son. In her letter, she suggests that the 80 something year-old would not have been able to contact the media without the help of his son, and urged him not to hide behind his father and to take responsibility for his actions.
She continued to reveal that her ex-husband had tried to bribe her to retract her previous statement by giving her the house she and the kids are living in.
Here are more details from her response:
- Wang Leehom wanted to get married quickly and have kids as he was growing older and they didn’t take preventative measures
- He was initially happy that she was pregnant, but later came back and asked if she could get an abortion or have the child but not be married
- Her only request for the divorce settlement was for the quality of her children’s lives to remain the same
- She agreed to let Wang Leehom live a single life after he tried to force her into a divorce
- He only spends five to ten minutes each weekday to chat with the children, and weekends are their family days where he would video chat on occasion if he wasn’t around
- He’s been absent for Christmas for three years and misses his kids’ birthdays
- She gave him a 3pm deadline to publicly apologise or she will take legal action and sue for defamation
On the same day as Jinglei’s response to her ex-father-in-law, Yumi said that she and Wang Leehom had deleted each other from WeChat, and so she didn’t have his contact from 2019. She reveals that yes, she had officially dated him before in 2012, and that to her knowledge, the divorced couple became official only in 2013.
In the screenshots she published, she shows that Wang Leehom shared with her that he was dating somebody else on 16 October 2013.
Regarding her previous IG post calling Wang Leehom ‘Hong Hong’ (or: Hom Hom), she clarifies that it was an old photo she posted to make her boyfriend of the time jealous. Though the photo was posted in 2015, it was actually taken in 2013.
Then, in yet another turn in the scandal, Li Jinglei released a picture of Yumi contacting Wang Leehom on WhatsApp. She says that the reason the Singaporean and the 45-year-old aren’t friends on Wechat is that they moved to WhatsApp instead.
But she didn’t stop there. She says, “(Yumi) even specially changed to a nude profile pic.”
According to reporting by AsiaOne, Vivian Hsu was one of the people that netizens pointed at regarding Wang Leehom’s friends with benefits situation due to him flouting COVID-19 restrictions and attending her house gathering. On 19 December 2021, she posted two slides on IG, sharing that the two times she met with him during this year was all shared on social media. She elaborates that they never meet privately but always with a group of friends.
At the end, she says she hopes Wang Leehom can address the situation as soon as possible so that friends around him aren’t affected.
Despite missing the 3pm deadline given to him by Li Jinglei, Wang Leehom released a statement during the late hours of 19 December 2021 with his version of events. He says that he took a long time to reply as he wasn’t sure if it would be good for his family.
In his response, he makes these notable points:
- He was not unfaithful to Jinglei
- He and Michiko Nishimura (he used Jinglei’s Japanese name) met in 2003 at his concert and then did not contact each other for 10 years, after which she was not a minor
- He lived in fear of extortion and threats during the marriage
- They were not at the stage of discussing marriage when she got pregnant
- She threatened to leave and change her name if he did not marry her so that he wouldn’t be able to see his child
- Jinglei told the mediator that if he didn’t meet her requests, she would tell the media things that would ruin his career. There is a recording of this with the mediator
- For the divorce settlement, she initially wanted 200 million RMB. The final decision was 150 million RMB, half their property in Los Angeles, 210,000 RMB for monthly expenses, a nanny, dedicated driver, a 24 live-in helper, and more
- Spoke up in public because it was the only way to communicate with her
- Apologises to his parents
- Asks to see their children
- He will respond to everything she wrote in the 5000 words essay
Okay, let’s not waste any more time. Here are the key details from her reply:
- Gave examples for times they went out after the 2003 meeting, with some friends being able to bear witness
- Wang Leehom didn’t have to split the property with her. She points out that his screenshots show ‘the parties own’ and ‘joint investment’, alluding to these belonging to both parties
- Professional analysis from a therapist, with Wang Leehom under the pseudonym of ‘Bobby’ and Li Jinglei under ‘Sasha’, shows that Jinglei was the one suffering long-term abuse, humiliation, and gaslighting
- The analysis also shows that he has a sex addiction and Narcissistic Personality Disorder issues
- During the sessions, there were roleplaying sessions to release emotions. If he has any recordings, it’s illegal
- She tried contacting him but he wouldn’t pick up – with screenshots as proof
- She spoke with the mediator who denies having a recording of her saying that she will ruin his career by telling media things
- Pointed out that he used her Japanese name to get netizens to side with him
After a messy few days, the end seems to be in sight with Wang Leehom’s public apology at 12pm on 20 December 2021.
He says that men should bear responsibility, and thus he won’t be providing any more responses. He apologised to his parents, Jinglei, and his kids, and says that since they are divorced, there is no point arguing about the past.
He assures everyone that he will take responsibility as a father, son, and public figure.
In a move that didn’t surprise many, he also announced that he would take a break from showbiz to take care of his family. He addresses Jinglei as well, informing her that he will transfer the house she and the kids are living in to her name and that he will bear the cost of the children’s upbringing and education.
While the saga seems to have finally ended with Wang Leehom’s apology, we can never be too sure. He did not publicly apologise by Li Jinglei’s 3pm cut-off. Will she sue him? Only time will tell.
With the saga having filled up people’s social media feeds for more than 10 days, it’s understandable that by now, people are calling for a stop to everything. Jenny Tseng is one of them.
As reported by AsiaOne, Taiwanese media had reported on 22 December 2021 that the Hong Kong singer had made an online post criticising Li Jinglei for taking it too far.
She shared that she now knew the meaning of “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, along with another phrase “if she is second, no one can be the first”. This is referencing Li Jinglei’s persistence in getting Wang Leehom to apologise publicly.
She also laments that the pandemic has put a damper on the Christmas festivities and made everyone miserable, and asks, “can we have some festive spirit, please?”
She also makes another dig at Jinglei, suggesting that despite all her education, the latter can’t write the word ‘stop’. She then says it’s “deplorable to trample on the compassion of others” and hints that a fallout may occur with the words “I believe there’ll be retribution in the end.”
The 68-year-old rounds up her post with the words, “If you resent the world, go to another planet. It’s tough enough here.” She has since received support for her post.
As reported by AsiaOne, a netizen went to Weibo on 4 January 2022 to refute the claims of Jinglei, citing a friend who works with Wang Leehom and acknowledging that it could be a biased viewpoint. Nonetheless, he claims that it would have been tough for Leehom to meet anyone in hotel rooms as his co-workers normally stayed in the room next to his.
He also pointed out that while the singer was “pretty open” and “playful” prior to settling down, his focus on his career and reputation made it unlikely that the star would do such things after his marriage.
And with regards to Singaporean singer Yumi, the netizen claims that there was no evidence in the first place. Wang Leehom had allegedly searched through his chats and found a conversation centred around work where she asked him to promote her song.
And, no, the ‘nude photo’ that Jinglei shamed Yumi for using as her profile picture was actually not of her own self.
But it doesn’t stop there. The netizen mentions that the evidence Jinglei claims to have were not submitted during the divorce proceedings.
“If there was, she definitely would have gotten more of his assets. Was it because she didn’t want to? It’s because there really wasn’t any evidence in the first place,” the netizen claimed.
He also speaks in Wang Leehom’s favour in regards to the star not handing over the apartment to his ex-wife initially: “Leehom may be rich, but he’s not that rich. He felt that if he gave the condo unit over, it would tip the proportion of assets in her favour and so he wasn’t willing to do so”.
According to the netizen, Wang Leehom had wanted to address the allegations in a live stream but didn’t as “he’d always felt that Jinglei has an extreme personality with psychological issues”. He was allegedly worried about what she may do to herself and their children if he had pushed her further.
As for the missed phone calls? The singer was “caught unawares”. Jinglei had apparently failed to contact him via the software that allowed him to record their calls – which he usually did – so he was “unprepared” and thus, didn’t pick up her calls.
With how many years Jenny Tseng has been in showbiz, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that her prediction that a fallout would occur has come true. Li Jinglei has been hit by backlash and her good friend, Patty Hou, has become a victim of unwelcome comments in the crossfire.
After the anonymous netizen’s post, many turned against Jinglei and took to her social media to express their unhappiness. Some of them, however, noticed their comments getting removed. So what did they do? They decided to bombard Patty with angry comments.
Of the two comments pictures, one wrote: “Happy new year jiejie (older sister). During the new year, stay away from Nishimura Michiko (Jinglei’s Japanese name)! Be careful of her hurting you! Please!”
Another questioned: “Can I please ask why your good friend deleted my comment and blocked me? Deleting comments that one doesn’t want to hear, is that being real? I have evidence.”
Netizens on the rampage also dug up alleged “intimate” photos of Jinglei posing with a ‘man’ during her birthday celebrations last year, accusing Jinglei of “inappropriate behaviour”. The photo went viral on Weibo, reports added.
However, the situation died down after it was revealed that the ‘man’ is in fact Zhu Yufeng, daughter of veteran Taiwanese actress Tien Niu.
Additional reporting: AsiaOne