'Crazy English' Li says sorry to girls

Shanghai Daily, September 7, 2011

"Crazy English" founder Li Yang, who has been accused of beating his wife, apologized to his three young daughters yesterday for "bringing them into the world without their permission" and "making a great number of mistakes when raising them."

Li Yang.[File photo]

Li Yang.[File photo]

On his official microblog, Li did not directly respond to his US wife Kim Lee's claims that he beat her and that she wanted a divorce for the sake of their children.

He talked instead about the "core secret of family education - apology, thanksgiving and love to form the energy for family life."

While apologizing to his daughters, he also thanked them for "making their parents' life complete." But he did not mention his wife or the domestic violence of which he had been accused in her microblog.

Li's microblog attracted more than 1,300 comments from people following the incident since his wife went online last week to complain about the violence, attaching photographs showing bruises on her head and knees.

Some criticized Li for "posing like a hypocrite who dare not face his wife's accusations" or "a coward still trying to act like a saint while his wife was blogging about her tears and pain in hospital."

Others read between the lines of Li's microblog and suspected Li had "beat his wife simply because he had not wanted the children."

One poster said "Li could have resorted to such violence because he was driven by traditional Chinese thoughts that he always wanted to have a son, but his wife failed him by giving him three daughters."

Li's sister, Li Ning, told Beijing reporters that she had read her sister-in-law's microblog but was unsure whether the writer was Li's wife.

"Kim is a very emotional woman who would often act hysterically and would sometimes abuse herself," Li Ning told reporters. "Li had some disputes with Kim over education methods, but he never beat other people."

Li became famous for inventing his "Crazy English" teaching method that some have likened to tent revivalists or traveling preachers.

He is also famous for his slogan "I enjoy losing face."

In her latest microblog, Li's wife wrote: "I only wanted him to seek professional help."

"I will now send my eldest girl to school and return to the police station to request the copy of the report I filed that day," the woman said.