Malaysia’s China Press sensed something was up after receiving a reader’s tip-off that Taiwanese television idol Jerry Yan had flown budget to Kuala Lumpur alone on Friday (Nov 10).
Reporters were sent to the hotel where his former girlfriend, actress Chiling Lin, was staying on a business trip.
At about 9pm, Yan, 40, and Lin, 42, both wearing black, showed up at the hotel in a white van, sparking talk that they had rekindled their secret romance. He got out of the car to retrieve his luggage, turned round and smiled at her, before rushing into a lift, said the report.
Lin, who was with a female assistant, then pulled her hat low and waited for another lift.
On Sunday, there seemed to be more proof that Yan and Lin are an item again, said Taiwan’s Apple Daily. One of his fan sites, Yan Chengxu Family, posted a photo of the two signing in at what looked like a hotel gym. Apple Daily identified the hotel as Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur.
Yan later told the newspaper: "I'm happy to be in contact with her. We're sincerely looking after each other. I've read the reports, and hope everyone will give us some space."
Yan and Lin both began their careers as models. They were romantically linked in the tabloids in 2003, after he shot to superstardom with the 2001 drama Meteor Garden and before she rose to fame as a supermodel in 2004.
According to Apple Daily, they split up in 2006, the year after she fell off a horse in a filming accident in Dalian, China.
For more than a decade, rumours about them getting back together never stopped, but she was busy entering the Chinese market and he was hesitant about dating her again, said the report.
In one of his picture books, he said he once let a girl go because he loved her. In 2010, she cried on the Hunan TV talk show Happy Camp after host He Jiong read out Yan’s description of how he jumped through hoops to visit Lin after her accident.
Last year, after Lin was filmed in her bedroom for an episode of the Dragon TV reality show Sisters Over Flowers, an eagle-eyed netizen noticed a small table in the room that resembled the one in a Facebook photo of Yan's nephew.
The fan put two and two together, after going to a temple and getting a divine confirmation that the stars would reunite, said Apple Daily. But Yan dismissed the speculation as wishful thinking.
This year, he had a more positive answer when he was asked about his chances of winning Lin back. “It depends on her attitude,” he said in May, in a hint that he was wooing her and waiting for her decision.