We’re not quite sure how we missed the story of the Chinese billionaire and his wayward lesbian daughter, but the time has come to share it—because it has inspired the next Sasha Baron Cohen film.
Just over a week ago the world first met Cecil Chao, a Hong Kong real estate tycoon who loves his own daughter more than anything but can’t seem to accept the fact that she’s a lesbian. Back in April, 33-year-old architecture graduate Gigi Chao—who also happens to run the PR/model management agency Haute Monde—flew to France to begin a civil union with her longtime (female) partner, 45-year-old Sean Yeung.
Cecil was apparently so upset that he came up with what may be the world’s least brilliant plan to “win” his daughter back—he offered a reward of approximately $65 million to any man who could “convert” her and convince her to marry him.
We may be wrong, but we don’t think this is the way such things work.
The fact that Cecil is a lifelong bachelor who claims to have had “intimate relations” with more than 10,000 women and that he completely denies his daughter’s elopement adds even more of a circus-like quality to this story. We can certainly see why Cohen loved it.
It doesn’t get any less bizarre either. Gigi amazingly called her father’s offer “sweet” in follow-up interviews and told Associated Press reporters that “I’m actually on very, very loving terms with my father. We speak on a daily basis. He just has a very interesting way of expressing his fatherly love,” but noted that he “wants me to live in the closet and marry a man to promote my social status.”
She probably wishes it would all just go away, but the story got a little bigger this weekend when funny man Sasha Baron Cohen, best known for Borat and Ali G, announced that he had chosen the bizarre tale of family relations as the basis for his next film. (We can only hope that he will not attempt to play a Chinese man, because that would make for some Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s-level racism.)
Will the movie be any good? Did anyone actually watch The Dictator? What the hell is ‘Gangnam Style’ all about anyway? (These are questions we will almost certainly never answer.)