HONG KONG • In a rare interview, Jasmine Tan, the Singaporean wife of Hong Kong film star Chow Yun Fat, relived the rainy day in 1992 when their daughter was stillborn. She said it took her seven years to get over the pain of her loss, before the couple then transferred their love to the disadvantaged.
Her interview with Apple Daily is being released in 15 parts, the first of which was out on Monday.
In May 1992, the couple had been married for more than five years and were expecting their first child. But one night, the baby was less active than usual and Tan recalled asking Chow: "Why is our daughter so well-behaved today? She isn't kicking my belly."
"It was only one week from the expected date of birth," Tan, now 57, remembered.
The next day, it was raining heavily. Her husband accompanied her to Mong Kok, where they waded through knee-high water to reach a clinic. She said: "The doctor didn't tell me much, only saying: 'You have to be admitted to hospital.' I saw the doctor's expression, something seemed to be a little wrong, but I didn't know what it was."
In St Teresa's Hospital, a scan showed her baby had been strangled by the umbilical cord, but neither the doctor nor the nurses would break the news to her.
Tan recalled how the doctor called Chow into the room and said: "Would you rather talk to your wife yourself?"
Her husband then told her: "The doctor says, let's have surgery."
The doctor and nurses were all sad for her and hoping to spare her the pain of pushing out the stillborn baby, but she insisted. After the baby was stillborn, she also insisted on seeing her daughter for the first and last time.
Afterwards, "I didn't know what to do. I didn't cry, I didn't cry," she said. Instead, her mind replayed one line repeatedly: "Why me?"
"Why did this happen to me? I didn't understand the reason until seven years later, or even later," she said.
Chow, 62, and his wife have since strived to do more for the community and often make private donations. Tan said: "Till today, I still think about our daughter."