Romance writer Chiung Yao quits Facebook, after dramatic dispute over ailing husband

Romance writer Chiung Yao said she would be quitting Facebook after a public spat with her stepchildren over her husband.
Romance writer Chiung Yao said she would be quitting Facebook after a public spat with her stepchildren over her husband. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/CHIUNG YAO

TAIPEI - Novelist Chiung Yao says she is closing her Facebook account, after a melodramatic dispute with her stepchildren over putting her husband on life support.

Since last month, she has posted a series of articles on the care of her husband of 38 years, publishing and movie mogul Ping Shin-tao, 89, who has vascular dementia and is forgetting her.

On April 30, she wrote that she had "tearfully surrendered" to his three children's insistence on intubating him, breaking an earlier promise to let him die with dignity. She said she gave in to the children from her second marriage because she feared she would be gossiped about for "robbing someone else of her husband", then "wanting him to die" when he is old and ill.

The posts followed an open letter the 79-year-old wrote to her son from her first marriage in March, asking not to be given life-prolonging treatment in case of a life-threatening condition.

On Saturday (May 6), she said she was quitting Facebook because her stepchildren's allegations following her April 30 post had left her scarred and despairing.

"My demands have been distorted, my goodwill has been contaminated, I admit I'm in pain every day. Shin-tao has been handed over to the three children, my self-blame should also come to an end," she wrote.

"So I'm about to close Facebook. For 14 years, to take care of Shin-tao, I haven't gone abroad. I want to go abroad for a change of mood. Shin-tao is in the company of the children who love him most, and in the care of the hospital, dean and caregiver I trust, and will live long, I think."

Chiung and Ping were a power couple for decades. His Crown Publishing published her romances, which the couple then made into movies and television dramas.

She wrote on Saturday: "Henceforth, I'm letting go of Shin-tao. I've also done too much for Crown. When you do anything for someone, they'll take it for granted."

She said she would leave her message board open until midnight on Tuesday, which will be the couple's 39th wedding anniversary.