SINGAPORE - The war of words between Taiwanese-American singer Wang Leehom and his estranged wife Lee Jinglei that erupted over the weekend has dominated the Chinese entertainment scene.
Wang, 45, confirmed last Wednesday (Dec 15) that they had divorced. Two days later, on Dec 17, Lee, 35, released a shocking expose about Wang's alleged affairs and bullying behaviour towards her during their marriage.
Wang responded to her accusations two days later on Sunday night, after his father attempted to defend his son.
Here are the full texts of Lee's first explosive post and Wang's first post in response to her allegations.
Dec 17: Lee Jinglei
First of all, I want to thank everyone who took time to send me messages of concern.
My heart is heavy, so I have not been able to reply to each message. It may be just a small move on your part, but it matters to me greatly. Thank you for giving me lots of comfort and strength during the most difficult time in my life.
Writing this letter is the most difficult decision I have ever made...Life is really not easy.
I think things can go back to zero and we have the opportunity to be reborn only when we face them bravely and honestly.
I also hope that my sharing can provide some food for thought to those of you who are either deeply involved in this journey or who are about to embark on it.
When I entered into marriage, I thought we would be a family forever, so I wholeheartedly gave my all for our family.
Because you are 10 years older than me and really want to have many children, I gave up my job and personal life to have one child after another. Everything is centred on you and the children.
Most of the time when we were married, I was preparing for pregnancy, getting pregnant or breastfeeding after giving birth. I experienced many changes physically and mentally, most of which I faced on my own.
Of course, I like children and agreed to have them.
However, I would not have agreed to it had I known that after giving birth to these three children, you would leave our home as you wanted to live a "single" life, and I have to bring them up as a single parent.
You know very well that my biggest dream since I was young is to form a harmonious family so that my children can grow up in a complete and loving family.
But I have no regrets, because our three children are my everything, which is God's greatest grace.
Women today are not like women in the past - who did not have the opportunities to receive an education and had no choice but to play the role of wife and mother.
We are fortunate to have the opportunity to receive higher education and be able to contribute to society with our knowledge, the opportunity to see the outside world and the ability to make a living.
Women in the past or in modern times have chosen to devote themselves to their families as housewives, although it is essentially "unpaid" work.
It is an important role for the family and one which requires doing multiple jobs around the clock (for example: babysitter/teacher/cleaning aunt/chauffeur/household manager/partner/special assistant).
The salary for housewives should take into account the opportunity cost of not going out to work despite one's ability. This should be the pay that all housewives deserve through their own efforts, and is not a gift or charity.
The person assigned to this role should not have to forfeit their financial independence or savings, while the one who is out working gets all the rights and benefits.
This will lead to an unequal relationship and leave women in a disadvantaged position with no speaking rights even when the men have affairs or there is domestic violence.
I think this is an issue which our generation needs to reflect on together.
Many housewives around me do not have their own savings or income in their accounts.
They feel embarrassed and are mindful of their husbands' views when they use the money earned by their husbands.
They would not even dare to say that they want to take care of their own parents.
If women talk about money, they will be condemned by our society as caring only about money or questioned about whether they are eyeing the men's money.
For women who have focused on their families and not worked for a long time, they will be at a loss if they are forced by the men into a divorce for no good reason even if they have done nothing wrong.
Therefore, girls, you must take precautions. I never thought that I would experience this, and like me, you may think it's impossible too!
But it will not be wrong to plan ahead for the future for yourself and your children!
Having been married to you for several years, I have been subjected to constant suspicion, humiliation and cold violence by you and your family.
I was forced to sign unequal prenuptial agreements at the beginning. I can understand if you want to protect your assets before marriage and I fully accept it.
However, the assets after our marriage are our joint efforts and the results of us doing our respective jobs.
Yet the house is under your name and the car is under your mother's name. The assets have been transferred fully, as if you are deeply worried that I will "take advantage" of you.
You have, of course, not stinted on the children's living expenses. I have lived a simple life and not used your money to buy luxury goods all these years.
In fact, I am the only one by your side who has encouraged you to do the things you love as life is short, instead of accepting commercial performances, programmes or advertisements for the sake of making money.
Spend your time working on music which can heal others...change the world - this is your mission and the only thing you can do.
Our family is not short of money and we do not need a more luxurious lifestyle.
Why do I have to put up with constant suspicion and humiliation from you and your family?
It is not I who control all your money, prevent you from using it and sow discord between us.
I know this sentence will make you angry, but I sincerely hope you can open your eyes to look at the situation clearly.
I have seen how depressed you were, lying on the floor for a few days because of your obedience.
I have also seen the many things you have lost in life because of your obedience.
You were still unable to make any decision by the age of 37. You felt very frustrated and powerless, unable to do what you wanted and unable to take control of your job, relationship and finances.
You poured out your grievances to me and sought help. I offered my help and simply thought I was saving my loved one from suffering.
However, I found out later I was just a pawn in your hand. You took advantage of my sympathy and love for you to use me as your shield.
You hid behind me and used me bit by bit to help you regain the rights you wanted. In the process, you were the good cop while I was the bad cop.
I did not benefit from this seizure of rights, as the only beneficiary was you.
You are the boss, and all business decisions are made directly by you. People who are obliged to help you took the blame.
What chilled me was at the end, you told me to believe in you, you would do the talking, you would protect us and that you and your team were fully prepared in marketing/controlling/manipulating the media and public opinion.
What was the result? You protected only yourself.
You used your contacts and media relations to use me as a shield to protect yourself by attacking me.
You were the one in the wrong, but your mother and I suffered through the public's criticism, while you were absolved of any blame.
I asked you if you could help to clarify the news as it was untrue, but you said that you had already stated in your statement that you would not comment further, so it was inconvenient for you to make any more responses. I said I understood.
And then... an hour later, you were in the news making a big clarification after you were accused of having an affair. It turned out that the "we" from your mouth is only "me", not "us".
You said your reputation is precious, but have you ever thought that a woman's reputation is precious too? I still have a long way to go in life.
You have always relied on me as the person who protects you the most and would not say a bad thing about you. I would not even say much to my family and good friends.
You didn't hesitate to spread rumours about me in order to preserve your high-quality image.
You used the same method by hiding behind your friends and relatives, and bullying me through them, just because you could not maintain your high-quality image if the problem was not with me but with you living irresponsibly.
I would no longer carry the cross for you. Wu X.X. also made a big clarification, and the result was obvious to all.
Whether you have an unusual relationship with her, only the two of you know.
The relationship between men and women in showbusiness and your values have also changed my views of the world - partners/former partners/and their good friends....they are all "good friends".
I knew you at the age of 16. Thinking back about the last 20 years, it suddenly became clear and there were obvious signs which I ignored. You and I flew often in the next few years, and we met occasionally in other cities.
I remember one time when you asked me out for a movie.
We sat in the front row and when the movie ended, we saw your rumoured girlfriend sitting at the back of the theatre, watching the same film as us.
Later, when you were still dating your ex-girlfriend, you called me at 2 in the middle of the night and asked if I wanted to go to your house to sleep with you... I thought it was weird and rejected you, but I didn't think much about it.
You said that you would come out to look for me, and that night we chatted outside until morning.
I found out later that you were still with your ex-girlfriend.
Later, after you broke up, we met again in the same city.
You were very considerate to me, helped me carry my bag and took me out to play.
We got along very happily, and then you held my hand. As you were a high-quality idol, I was not on my guard and we got together and had sex.
You told me the next morning you did not want to get into a relationship.
I have never encountered such a thing before, and I was surprised at the time, but at the same time, because you were also very sincere, you shared with me your loneliness and lots of your inner secrets.
I thought at that time that you must have been hurt for you to be like that.
We were in love like ordinary couples. We stayed together if possible and kept in touch all day if we were in different cities.
We spent lots of good times together and said "I love you", even though our relationship was not official.
You said you were not dating other people, but would not want to get into a relationship for now.
It turned out later that you have many such "friends" like me in other cities .
You have also been filmed taking girls home for the night and hiring prostitutes.
There were videos to prove them, with the girl able to recall your floor level, turn left after leaving the lift and enter your house.
You have admitted these to me before and confessed that these are your problems and that you are unable to control yourself.
I suggested leaving you, but you urged me to stay by calling me for a few weeks, as you said you would never do it again and that I am your "only one" in future. We moved slowly on the road towards setting up a family.
One day, you didn't call me after the end of your concert in Shanghai, and I couldn't find you in the morning either.
I found out later that you went drinking and partying with your friend-with-benefits all night, and you took photos of yourself kissing her chest and licking her lips.
You continue to keep in touch after marriage, even though you have me.
You replied happily after you received a series of nude photos of her wishing you a happy birthday.
You promised me that you would not keep in touch with her again, but I found that you still kept in touch from time to time, and sent ambiguous messages.
There was once when you did not want me to go when you were in the same commercial performance with me. She then posted on Instagram about you and addressed you as "Homhom" before deleting the post.
There was another girl who was your friend-with-benefits. She is married with a kid and still used you to cheat on her husband.
I was uncomfortable with your past dalliances with her, because after our marriage, the girl still flirted with you and you reacted enthusiastically.
She would not have to use you to cheat on her husband if she was upfront.
I said that I felt uncomfortable and while normal social contact is acceptable, couldn't you not invite her to our house when I felt uncomfortable?
You were very angry and said there would be no Christmas parties after that.
You even went to her house for a party though you knew you were breaking the law.
I was pregnant and about to give birth when a dance teacher "friend" of yours messaged you to say he was very sad as both of you should be together.
Another female "friend" also cried for an hour after hearing that we were together, also saying that she thought the two of you were together.
I found our later that you recorded down the characteristics of the prostitutes you have hired, including a few who looked like our staff. How embarrassed am I?
I was still willing to forgive you and accompany you after experiencing so many things, but I did not hope to change you as I let you live freely the life you wanted.
I backed out of your life and waited for you at home with the children, so that you could come back to be with us when you wanted, with no quarrels between us.
But you still wanted to leave selfishly. You are determined to get a divorce so that if you meet a girl you like, you will not want her to be labelled as a "mistress".
If I don't agree to the divorce, you will just try to verbally bully me in various ways, humiliating me and slandering me by fabricating facts in front of friends and relatives.
I have given you everything you wanted.
No matter how irresponsible you are or how ridiculous, I didn't even say anything to friends and relatives, greeting others with a smile.
I protected our home gently and firmly, hoping that my tolerance and forgiveness would bring about family harmony and that the children can grow up in a harmonious and happy family.
The result was your absence.
You were absent during the children's birthdays and key festivals.
You would leave for a few months at one stretch, as I watched the heartbroken children crying in my arms, and I was heartbroken too.
I realised that my tolerance would set a bad example for our daughters. I thought it would bring happiness to our children, but it brought them anxiety and repeated disappointments in return.
If you care for something, you will find time for it.
As YouTuber Evelyn Chen said: "Those who are absent will always find excuses."
Love and care are expressed by actions. You said at that time you love me, and say now you love the children. I have heard but didn't see it. Love and care are reflected in actions, not words.
One reason that I have decided to stand up for myself is that I do not want more girls to experience the same thing as me. I also feel that this world needs more reflection.
People who have power always manipulate the media, with the media manipulating the masses, leading to worsening social values and the controlling of public opinions.
Although this industry is very large, I sincerely hope that in future, people with power will be barred from controlling public opinion and maintaining their personal images through marketing, so that public figures can be presented to the public with their true appearance and with the facts being seen.
I also feel that I have a social responsibility to make sure that other people will not follow in my footsteps unknowingly and have the same experience as me.
Finally, about getting into the upper echelons of the society, I will not choose to be friends or not be friends with someone due to his or her choice of identity. Nor did I "rely" on him for my current life.
In future, I don't need nor will I suffer any humiliation in order to accept living expenses from him (though I deserve it, but no, thank you).
I will rely on my own efforts to raise the children well.
You said that you hoped I would not ruin your entertainment career.
All I want to say is that I have never wanted to do it, which was why I tolerated it until now, and it also pained me to take this step.
However, if your entertainment career is affected, it is due to your own choices, not me. I hope both of us can be reborn and find our respective ways.
You can get rid of the unhealthy habits which are not good for you physically and mentally as well as focus on your music.
Fame and wealth and all kinds of partners will not bring your true happiness except lead you to bottomless abyss.
I hope you can face yourself honestly, ignore the irrelevant views and be with the right people.
From now on, I will treat myself kindly and be reborn again.
I will also be the strongest pillar and best role model for the children, and let them know that even if they fall to the bottom, they can still pick up themselves with their strength.
Let's watch the rising clouds after reaching the end of the river.
After reaching the bottom, every day after today will get only better.
This sentence is an encouragement for myself and those of you going through the hardships of life.
No matter what we experience, let's believe that: Life is 10 per cent what happens to you and 90 per cent how you react to it.
The coming days will not be easy, but I will rely on God and the light at the end of the tunnel, and everyone who has been by my side, to go forward bravely step by step.
If you are also experiencing similar challenges, I hope we can give each other strength.
Thank you for taking the time to read the full post. I hope this article can be a little enlightening and meaningful to your life, and maybe this is also the meaning of my experience.
Wang's response on Dec 19
This is the hardest day of my life. It has been a painful, gigantic nightmare.
My dilemma is this: If I rebut these untruths levelled at me, it will reflect badly on the mother of my three children. But if I don't, people will believe the rumours about me.
I might have done things imperfectly and would like to first say sorry for these imperfections. I really do not want to hurt her, not to mention the children. They are my family, my everything and my most beloved.
I can say with absolute certainty that I was never unfaithful in our marriage.
I first got to know Michiko Nishimura (the name I knew her by then) in 2003 after one of my concerts. But we lost contact for about 10 years after this.
In the message, she even called me "stranger". I told her, "Haven't seen you in forever." She was 26 and not underage as Lee implied.
Our marriage began on Nov 27, 2013, and lasted until our separation on Aug 5, 2019. I lived under fear, extortion and threats for these five years and eight months.
She became pregnant not long after we got together.
I was very happy because I've always wanted to have children. But we had not yet arrived at the stage of discussing marriage.
But she was very worked up when she told me about her pregnancy. She said: "If you don't marry me now, I will disappear, change my name, and you will not see the child in my belly in your life. Don't try to find me, you'll never find me." (This can be proven, as it was recorded in 2016 during a marriage counselling session).
I was scared but I could tell that she was serious about getting married that very day. I could not imagine never seeing the child.
I went along with her, seeing how upset she was. We registered our marriage in New York City that very day.
I had thought that that day was the most frightening day of my life. I did not know then that day was nothing compared with what is happening now.
During our marriage of five years and eight months, we had problems constantly. From March 2014, we began to go for marriage counselling. We went to five counsellors in total but could not improve our relationship.
I gave my blessings sincerely to Michiko Nishimura and hoped we could still have a harmonious family life after marriage.
We began to negotiate our divorce agreement after separating in December last year. She told the mediator that if Leehom does not comply with her demands, she would tell the media things that would ruin my career (The mediator said there is a voice recording, but I have yet to listen to it).
She is not the person she claims to be, someone who does not desire a single penny from me. Initially, she asked for some 200 million yuan (S$42.8 million).
The final agreement we signed accorded a total of about 150 million yuan in assets, including half the house in Los Angeles, half of our stocks, as well as 210,000 yuan every month in living allowance.
A nanny, driver, vehicle, 24-hour live-in maid were also to be provided for Lee. She was also allowed to live in our Taipei house for free for 18 years. Lee felt that these were inadequate.
But the crux is not money but that we have three precious kids.
My only reason for making a public statement now is that this is the only way that I can speak to Lee for now.
Please direct everything at me. I can accept all your demands and anger, but the Internet is a world where every act leaves a trace, and you have used it to ruin me.
Please do not let these records become the source of further humiliation for our three children as they grow up. I beg you to let me see them.
Lee Jinglei, I am sorry I did not meet your expectations of a husband.
As a public figure, I want to apologise to the public for not managing my marriage well. To innocent friends dragged into this, I bow and apologise to you, as my marriage had affected you.
Thank you for your handwritten letter last night. I have burdened my parents with the mistakes I've made in my marriage. I am deeply apologetic.
I don't write as well as Jinglei, but I will rebut her accusations in another post.