HONG KONG • Kenneth Ma has told Oriental Daily News he is willing to help TVB actress Jacqueline Wong bounce back from a kissing scandal since the two are "friends".
Observers, noting his choice of word - "friends" - in describing the couple's two-year relationship, have declared it as further evidence that she is no longer his girlfriend.
After Wong, 30, was caught kissing singer Andy Hui, 51, in a taxi in April, TVB actor Ma, 45, asked for the affected parties to be given time to resolve their situation.
He was applauded for his gentlemanly response but later told media that Wong - who fled to the United States to escape attention - was no longer always in his thoughts.
She reportedly kept in touch with Ma, asking if he could spend his month-long leave with her in the US.
Ma's latest comments have dashed such hopes, with him confessing that he was initially angry over what she had done.
But that soon gave way to concern over her welfare, though it appears that that does not extend to a willingness to completely forgive her.
"I can say only we're friends now. There's no need not to be friends," he noted.
"It's hard to say who's right or wrong in love. I hope everyone's reactions won't be so excessive from now on, and can give her a chance.
"No need to attack her. In fact, she knows she's wrong. Who hasn't done wrong before?"
Adding that many people are still in a venomous mood towards Wong, he noted that she "still has a really long road" ahead to regain public goodwill.
Ma, whose current drama Big White Duel has got the thumbs up from viewers, is walking the supportive talk, saying he is even open to the idea of teaming up with Wong on screen. "I don't mind," he said, emphasising yet again that "we're still friends". "It's not like she is my enemy."