A Hong Kong real estate tycoon that made international headlines in 2012, after offering $65 million to any man who could persuade his openly gay daughter to marry, has decided to up the ante.
Speaking to Malaysian financial publication The Edge, Cecil Chao said that the figure “could be doubled [to $130 million] if someone could capture her heart.”
“I don’t want to interfere with my daughter’s private life,” Chao added. “I only hope for her to have a good marriage and children as well as inherit my business.”
Chao, 77, initially chose to offer the bounty after discovering that his daughter, Gigi Chao, had married her longtime girlfriend in France. Same-sex marriage is not recognized in Hong Kong.
“[No] amount of money would be able to attract a man I would find attractive,” Chao’s daughter, who is an executive at his real estate firm, said upon learning of the increased offer. “I would be happy to befriend any man willing to donate huge amounts of money to my charity Faith in Love, provided they don’t mind that I already have a wife.”
The 33-year-old woman told reporters in 2012 that, rather than taking offense to her father’s controversial gesture, it was actually “sweet” and “an expression of his fatherly love.”
“I understand that he loves me, it’s just he’s from another time and it’s difficult for him to understand the plight of the LGBT [community]. At the office it’s business as usual. At family gatherings we hug and dance. And we just agree to disagree on what marriage is and family is,” she said.
More than 20,000 bachelors responded to Chao’s first attempt at finding a suitor – with his daughter receiving as many as 1,500 emails in a single day. None managed to entice to entice the happily married Gigi.
Many people in the LGBT community were outraged by Chao’s original “marriage bounty,” and the latest attempt to change his daughter’s sexual orientation with the promise of riches is likely to win him further condemnation.
Chao himself has been criticized for his own “sexual preferences” – boasting in a Financial Times interview that he may have slept with as many as 10,000 women in his lifetime.
“I never counted, but it’s possible,” he stated. “Every day you can date one, two, three or four women… I like to live a free and happy life.”
Chao has three children by three different women.