Suitors bombard Hong Kong tycoon's gay daughter after dowry

Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:34pm EDT
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By Stefanie McIntyre and James Pomfret

HONG KONG (Reuters) - The newly married lesbian daughter of a Hong Kong tycoon who offered a $65 million "marriage bounty" to any man able to win her love, on Thursday said she'd been flooded by marriage proposals but harbored no animosity towards her father.

Since Hong Kong property billionaire Cecil Chao, known in the tabloid media for his prolific womanizing, dangled a $65 million reward for any man able to lead his daughter, Gigi Chao, down the aisle, she says she's been bombarded by marriage proposals from strangers, date requests, and even an offer from a Hollywood film producer to buy her story.

"War veterans from the U.S., someone from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, from Istanbul, South America, Portugal, really just from all over the world," said Chao, sifting through emails on a white Apple laptop in her father's high-rise office tower.

One suitor from the United States wrote: "I'm interested in your offer to wed your daughter, who also happens to be gay. I am a male person, who also happens to be gay."

Another put up his brother, a body double to George Clooney in the 2008 sports flick "Leatherheads" as a potential mate: "He could be the picture perfect date that your father craves."

"I've tried my best to respond to well-meaning ones ... but most of them I just try not to open," added the frizzy-haired Chao, who was wearing a silver ring after what she called a "church blessing" with her girlfriend in a Paris church.

Gigi said her billionaire father, who drives a Rolls Royce and flies a helicopter but had a poor early childhood in Shanghai, had been upset when his daughter's longtime lover revealed the couple had wed in Paris in April, leading to his impromptu HK$500 million "marriage bounty" offer to any man able to set her straight.

"I wasn't angry at all. I was really quite touched, very touched and very ... how should I say? moved, by Daddy's announcement," said the 33-year-old.   Continued...

Gigi Chao, the daughter of Hong Kong property tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, poses at the conference room of her office in Hong Kong September 27, 2012. REUTERS/Bobby Yip