He made headlines around the world by offering $65 million to any man who could woo and marry his lesbian daughter. Now the Hong Kong billionaire Cecil Chao says that 33-year-old Gigi “can choose whatever she wants” – but the offer still stands.
The billionaire was confused after he found that his daughter ran off to France this spring and become the wife of her girlfriend of seven years, Sean Eav.
Refusing to accept the gay union, he pledged the fortune to any potential male suitor able to walk the 33-year-old University of Manchester graduate down the aisle at a traditional wedding.
The shocked father had quickly come with an unusual idea: to offer a $65 million bounty to any straight man who is able to seduce Gigi and stole her heart.
In addition to the dowry, he has also offered to start his potential son-in-law up in his own business.
He said the prize money was “an inducement to attract someone who has the talent, but not the capital, to start his own business”.
He offered the multi-million pound dowry in September after a reporter from a gossip magazine told him Gigi had entered into a civil partnership with her girlfriend of seven years, Sean Yeung.
“They called me to say my daughter had got married in Paris. I was shocked. Gigi is still young and beautiful. She has 70 per cent of her life to go,” he said.
The famously promiscuous Hong Kong businessman dismissed “false reports” of his daughter’s lesbian nuptials and insisted she was still single.
Cecil Chao, 76, has said he doesn’t care about the man’s financial status: “I don’t mind whether he is rich or poor,” he’s quoted as saying. “The important thing is that he is generous and kind-hearted.”
As the Telegraph reports, the 76-year-old Mr Chao has his own unique approach to romance, once claiming to have slept with 10,000 women.
“I never counted, but it’s possible,” he said. “Every day you can date one, two, three or four women. I have many good friends. We share our life, not just limiting to one person. I like to live a free and happy life.”
Since offering his daughter’s hand to whoever could persuade her to take it, Mr Chao has received hundreds of proposals of marriage himself. He is unlikely to accept any of them.
“Marriage is difficult, particularly under Hong Kong law. She can take a lot of your money away. It is safer not to be married,” he said, in words that may well be of interest to his daughter.
Gigi Chao, now the most wanted bride, found her father plan rather amusing.
“At first I was entertained by it, and then that entertainment turned into the realization and conviction that I am a really lucky girl to have such a loving daddy, because it’s really sweet of him to do something like this.”
Gigi continued: “ It’s not that he can’t accept me. It’s that he can’t accept how society would view me and the status that it would incur.”
Miss Chao graduated from university in 1999 with a degree in architecture. She went on to work for two years with prominent British architect Sir Terry Farrell.