Veronica Yip returns to showbiz to pay off debts?
Former Hong Kong screen siren Veronica Yip has been revealed to be making her showbiz comeback to pay off heavy debts. Though the 45-year-old earlier announced that her return to the big screen is purely ‘for fun’, her family assets worth NT$30 billion (S$1.2 billion) are reportedly on the verge of bankruptcy.
Veronica had her first career breakthrough after acting in several adult films in Hong Kong. She married Chinese-American businessman Jeffrey Wu in 1996, before announcing her retirement from the entertainment industry. The actress became her husband’s right-hand man after they relocated overseas and both of them jointly expanded their businesses to the banking, aviation, grocery and real estate sectors.
The couple’s chain of supermarkets in the United States are said to be suffering from poor business and it was recently exposed that the bank they established in 2006 is only a local microfinance bank. The travel agency owned by the couple was said to have folded after the economic crisis in 2008.
When asked, Veronica admitted that the travel agency has indeed gone bankrupt and raked in a loss of more than NT$580 million (S$24.36 million).
“We can afford to pay. It doesn’t affect our finances at all,” she said at a press conference held this week.
However, she was unhappy that the bank was ‘inaccurately illustrated’ by the media. She refuted, “My husband is the major shareholder [of the bank] and he holds 70 percent of the shares. We have 50 employees!”
Jeffrey was previously caught in several law suits after failing to make payment for the loans he took using his two personal airplanes as mortgages. Veronica clarified, “We’ve already returned US$14 million (S$17.09 million).”
“People say that I’m in a bad [finance] condition when I don’t fly on a personal plane, when I don’t wear a diamond ring and when I don’t carry a branded bag,” the actress continued, emphasising that she is not one to show off her wealth, “No matter what, people just like to say that I’m in a bad condition!”
Although her showbiz comeback brought the couple’s business problems to light and despite the NT$4 million (S$168,000) pay slip which barely covers her losses, she insisted that she “enjoys filming”.