Current and a former entertainment reporters from Apple Daily separately made global news headlines this week for a number of different reasons.
One asked Oscar best actress winner Emma Stone if she would like to take Emma Watson to dinner for turning down the job, which surprised the unprepared star of La La Land to say, “Oh my God.”
The other reporter simply became Hong Kong’s richest woman by marrying a wealthy, but critically-ill, bedridden long-term boyfriend.
Enter Kimbie Chan, who married flamboyant property tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung last November. She was given half of Lau’s property empire Chinese Estates Holdings worth HK$11 billion (US$1.42 billion).
According to the company filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, Lau was in poor condition as he asked the regulator for an exemption on transferring his shares to his wife, and son Lau Ming-wai who also received about a quarter of Chinese Estates.
In one single move, Lau made Chan, a former entertainment reporter whom he encountered 20 years ago, to become Hong Kong’s richest woman with an estimated net worth of HK$54 billion and ranked among the top 10 richest people in the city.
Just four months ago, Chan married Lau, who had recovered from a kidney transplant. His wedding gift to her was a residential estate called Shiu Fai Terrace in Mid-Levels worth HK$1 billion with HK$5 billion in cash along with other items such as diamond jewelry and Picasso paintings.
Prior to that the 37-year-old was already gifted a Tsim Sha Tsui shopping mall appropriately named The One as a reminder of their special relationship.
Their love story is a drama suitable for a Hollywood film. Chan was a paparazzi working for Apple Daily where she covered the high-profile divorce case of Lau’s split with his first wife Theresa Po Wing-kam in 1992.
Some 10 years later in 2002, the pair started their courtship, with Chan having two children – a daughter named Josephine in 2008 and son Lau Chung-hok in 2012. But Lau was also dating another woman Yvonne Lui.
Ultimately, Chan won Lau’s heart after he decided to give most of his wealth to the former reporter. His decision was confirmed when Lau paid for a full-page newspaper advertisement, stating that Lui no longer had any claim to him and that their relationship was over. She also has had two children with Lau, who stated in the advert that she has enough of his fortune.
Lau said Lui cared most about money but Chan, on the other hand, did not care about money.
Although the richest woman may not be so money-minded, we figure she could have bought her former employer Next Digital, a media flagship owned by Jimmy Lai, and virtually all media companies in Hong Kong with her newfound wealth.
Her rags-to-riches story is definitely inspiring to those who are still chasing fortune and fame. It has provided a lot hope for the paparazzi community in Hong Kong, probably including the one who asked a not so polite question to La La Land star Stone.
Stone’s reply was undoubtedly elegant, but it wouldn’t be rude if the Hollywood actress asked the Apple Daily reporter: “Do you feel that Kimbie Chan now owes you a drink or dinner for leaving you with a heavy workload?”