Actress Julie Tan has broken her silence after being pulled into the ongoing quarrel between showbiz veterans Hong Huifang and Pan Lingling.
The 25-year-old spoke to Chinese-language media outlets on Tuesday (24 July), reportedly crying throughout her interviews. She said she had to speak out against the “bullying” by Pan, 49, who allegedly implied that Tan was a “loose” woman.
Tan said that even before the spat between Hong and Pan broke out, she had often heard from friends and colleagues previously that Pan had been making unsavoury comments about her.
She said Pan should not have commented on a private matter such as about her relationship with Hong’s son Calvert Tay, adding that “No one should be insulted in such a manner!”
Tan was said to be in a romantic relationship with 18-year-old Tay. Pan had told Tay, in reference to the rumoured relationship, that he should protect himself from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and get an STD vaccination as Tan had been in multiple relationships previously.
Hong, 58, had gotten wind of Pan’s comments, which were made at a gathering of friends last month, and ignited the current scandal within local showbiz by sending a mobile text rant last week to about 50 friends announcing that she had cut ties with Pan.
Tan told Shin Min Daily News that she and Tay were not a couple, just good friends.
Shortly after news broke about Hong’s blowout, Tan made an Instagram post that seemed to hit out at Pan for “talking shit” about her without mentioning the Channel 8 veteran by name. The post said, “I used to respect you cause you’re an elder, but now sorry lost all respect (sic).”
The post, which has since been taken down, also said, “Fake people have an image to maintain. Real people just don’t care.”
Tan’s mother Doris Khaw told Shin Min that Pan called her on Tuesday (24 July) to apologise over the phone for her hurtful words about her daughter, but Khaw demanded that Pan make a public apology through the media if she did not want to be sued for slander.
Pan eventually apologised through both the Chinese tabloids Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min, and Khaw accepted the apology.
Hong also broke her silence on the matter since sending out her text, telling Chinese media that she had not expected the matter to blow up publicly. When asked about people in showbiz picking sides over her dispute with Pan, she said: “This is not a war, there is no winner or loser.”
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