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Huang-Chow Mired in Controversy

Responding to Chinese actress Huang Shengyi's announcement that she is to part company with Steven Chow's Star Overseas company, an assistant to Hong Kong actor and director Stephen Chow said Monday that the company would not consent to a contract termination. 


The company said it would also consider taking legal action. According to lawyer Liu Xuedong, who represents Chow’s company, the letter from Huang which indicated her wish to terminate the contract was quite vague, with no clear reason given as to why she was seeking to end the relationship.


Huang has stopped all media interviews and her father disclosed that she was in low spirits. He also said Huang would compensate the company if needed and that he hoped his daughter would come back from her self-imposed isolation as soon as possible to re-start her career.


Huang shot to fame after appearing in a leading role in Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle. Since then her growing popularity has made her the center of attention for local media, resulting in her posing for magazine covers without informing her company.


Huang’s behavior has aroused controversy in the show business world, with the actress having drawn considerable flak for her lack of integrity and distrust of her company. Though Huang put down her desire to part ways with Chow's company to a "lack of space," speculation was rife that other reasons were behind her decision.


The first of the theories is that Huang has been gradually falling out of favor with Chow, who has turned his attention to promoting starlet Liu Jiajie, who has been linked with a possible role in director Chow's forthcoming Kung Fu Hustle 2. Chow first spotted Liu's talent as a 16-year-old while casting for Shaolin Soccer, and rumor has it that Huang feels threatened by Liu's growing stature.


A second suggestion is that the Huang-Chow bust-up was cooked up by Huang and her company to get some extra cheap publicity ahead of the release of Kung Fu Hustle 2, which would begin shooting soon.



A third possibility is that Huang's new company was cashing in on her break from Chow. Show business insiders think a more powerful company was behind Huang's decision to part from Chow, and that by hiring Huang, her new company had sought to kill two birds with one stone — getting a money-machine star on their books and extensive free publicity to boot.


(Shenzhen Daily August 10, 2005)

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