Huang Yiliang Claims Local Scriptwriter’s Column About Him Is Full Of Lies; Scriptwriter Challenges Him To Take Legal Action
And of course, Yiliang, who has finished serving his 10-month jail sentence, did his rebuttal via his medium of choice — a live stream on Facebook.
Huang Yiliang, 61, has a bone to pick, and he’s coming out with guns blazing.
On Oct 9, the former actor took to his Facebook for a live stream, claiming that former scriptwriter Soh Choon Heng had published a litany of lies about him in a weekly column.
Against a backdrop of ripped out covers and pages from local Chinese magazine U-Weekly, where the column in question was published in August this year, Yiliang held court, listing out everything that was wrong, one after the other.
He claimed that he never dissed his ex-wife, Lin Meijiao, 58, when accepting his Best Supporting Actor win in 2003, and that their divorce, which happened when their daughter Chantalle Ng, 27, was just a few months old, was not ‘cos of a difference in parenting styles.
Meijiao had primary custody of Chantalle when she was growing up, with Yiliang having visitation rights every Sunday.
In an Hear U Out episode last year, Chantalle revealed that she was beaten up so badly by Yiliang when she was 11 that she had to be hospitalised for a week. Yiliang refuted Chantalle’s version of the story in a Facebook live stream shortly after.
Yiliang also accused the scriptwriter of misquoting his words in an interview that happened 30 years ago.
The former actor said he was unable to refute the points that were published in the magazine column till now ‘cos it was published while he was serving his 10-month jail term for assaulting his employee with a metal scraper. Yiliang started serving his sentence in February this year, and appears to have been let out early for good behaviour.
“I couldn’t retaliate 'cos I was in jail. Acting like this is basically hitting someone while they’re down, something only someone vile would do,” he said.
Addressing Choon Heng, Yiliang then continued: "You report the things that everyone knows accurately, but for the things that people don’t know about, you editorialise it, this type of behaviour is really not professional. People like you, as long as you have a pen in your hands, you’ll write whatever you wish to write. As for the people who have offended you, you’ll depict them really “wonderfully" and I am one of those people.”
Choon Heng accepted a phone interview with 8world a day after Yiliang’s live stream, where he gave his side of the story.
The former scriptwriter, who is currently based in Bangkok, stands by his column, and challenged Yiliang to take legal action if he feels that he was misrepresented in any way.
When asked if he was worried that Yiliang would sue him, this was Choon Heng’s reply: "Would Yiliang [even] dare [to sue me]? I have proof. If he wishes to sue me for slander, I can countersue him”.
Here’s a summarised version of Yiliang’s main grievance, and how Choon Heng replied.
Yiliang first said that when Choon Heng interviewed him 30 years ago, Yiliang shared an anecdote about his time serving in the army as a military policeman. He shared a story about helping a VIP from Brunei, who was apparently so rotund that he struggled to get out of a car.
The former actor said he had to struggle to hold back a laugh 'cos he might get charged and sentenced to jail if he were to disrespect the VIP.
Choon Heng then asked Yiliang to share how long he might be sentenced to jail for if he were to have laughed at the VIP. Yiliang replied that it would be a week. In the end, the article that was published was headlined: “Huang Yiliang once served a jail term of 7 days”.
Yiliang said he was unhappy with the headline 'cos he was merely making an assumption, and joking about the possibility of him going to jail then. He also asserted that half of what Choon Heng wrote in his column was false.
Choon Heng clarified things during his call with 8world, saying that while Yiliang might have thought that it was clear that everything was just a joke during the interview, Choon Heng was dead-serious then, which might have been why he took Yiliang’s jokes at face-value.
“If there was an error in the interview piece at that time, the interviewee should bear some responsibility too 'cos the information that he offered up was unclear,” Choon Heng said.
Choon Heng added that he knew that Yiliang would come for him after he published his column in August.
“'Cos I know what kind of person he is. If I was afraid, then I wouldn’t write about [him]. But everything that I’ve written is all true, apart from that interview that might have been due to a misunderstanding,” he said.
He also added in a Facebook post that all of his columns are painstakingly researched and cross-referenced using past newspaper clippings and archival records.
Catch the latest season of Hear U Out on meWATCH here. The episode where Chantalle discusses her relationship with Yiliang is embedded below.
Photos: Huang Yiliang/Facebook, 8world, Soh Choon Heng/Facebook