Tan Kee Yun
The New Paper
25 April 2015
"Cheating" and "affair" have never been part of Taiwanese singer-actress Ella Chen's vocabulary.
The spunky 33-year-old, one-third of top Mandopop girl group S.H.E, told local reporters yesterday that she and her husband "trust each other completely".
"There are no secrets between us. We tell each other everything," she said in Mandarin. "If he intends to cheat on me, I would be fooled, that's for sure. My husband's lifestyle is simple. Most of the time, he comes home straight after work."
Chen tied the knot with Malaysian businessman Alvin Lai, 39, at a glitzy private wedding at Malacca Equatorial Hotel in May 2012 after dating for 1½ years. They have no kids.
She was in town to promote her debut solo album Why Not, an eclectic collection of funk rock and dreamy ballads, available now on iTunes.
"I know I am Number One on my husband's list of priorities, which makes me feel very, very touched," she said, with a smile. "He works office hours. Yet, he has no qualms sacrificing his rest time to accompany me on my music video shoots."
The topic of trust and commitment came up because last month, Chen's S.H.E bandmate Selina Jen's 43-year-old husband, lawyer Richard Chang, was photographed by Taiwanese paparazzi hanging out at a KTV lounge with a young woman.
It sparked off rumours that the couple's marriage was on the rocks. Jen, 33, swiftly defended him via a statement through S.H.E's record label HIM International: "My husband always informs me of his schedule."
Chang himself appeared to find humour in the whole situation. After his "rendezvous" pictures were splashed all over the Internet, he a put a sarcastic post on his Facebook page: "What a great headline and story. So many views.
"I am no saint. I have many bad habits. Like everyone else, I have friends and bosses. I have functions to attend, guests to entertain. I have to eat and drink. I get drunk too."
As a parting shot, Chang wrote: "Sorry for having to waste your resources on (news like this)."
He later explained to the Taiwanese press that the girl in the pictures was "the girlfriend of one of his friends". They were at a birthday party and he had merely sent her home.
Chen said that Jen and Chang's marriage is going strong. In fact, the couple, who wed in 2011, is "trying for a baby".
"Richard has to entertain guests in his line of work, definitely a lot more frequently than my husband," Chen said. "I was so elated when Selina told me of her desire to get pregnant this year. We've shared so many important life moments together. "I hope she'd have good news to share with me very soon."
As for Chen, having a baby has to wait - but not for long.
"I have work lined up till the end of the year, including my first theatre production in the second half of 2015," she said. "My aim is to get my body prepared (for pregnancy) sometime in December. Then, next January, we will start trying hard for a baby. "I don't want to have just one child, I want to have at least three children."
The affable entertainer is one of many overseas guest presenters at tomorrow's Star Awards 2015 Show 2, the annual programme that recognises the best in the local Mandarin television scene.
Other presenters include Hong Kong singer-actress Karen Mok, actor Ekin Cheng and veteran music trio Grasshopper. Chen said that her new album "fleshes out her multi-faceted personality".
"Through the photos and songs on Why Not, you truly see the different sides of me. One minute, I'm a tomboy, the next minute, I'm a girly girl. I can be silly and crazy and at times, I don't mind uglifying myself," she said, with a laugh. "Am I Mandopop's chameleon queen? Of course!"