William Chan, Charlene Choi announce break-up

Actor seen holding hands with co-star while reading screenplays on set

William Chan, Zhao Liying 1

After five years together, Hong Kong celebrities William Chan and Charlene Choi have called it quits.

In a joint statement issued early Sunday morning, the couple attributed their split to public pressure. “All artistes hope it’s their efforts that gain attention, but far more often their personal lives and relationships become the focus, and this slowly turns into a form of pressure,” they wrote.

“We tried to have faith in this relationship and to ignore what others say, and we felt that nothing was insurmountable as long as we loved each other. But this is a greedy and naive thought. Perhaps it’s a test, and it’s a pity that we’re not as strong as we look, that our love isn’t as strong as we imagined.”

The two separated amicably and wished each other well.

Charlene and William’s relationship was never looked upon with much promise, not only due to their three-year age difference (Charlene is older) but also because William was until recently a relative unknown. He only made it big after heading to mainland China to film the fantasy period drama Swords of Legends, which aired last year to high acclaim.

William Chan, Zhao Liying 2

Shortly before the pair announced they were through, Chinese actress Zhao Liying posted on Weibo a photo of her and William, with the timing so coincidental it appeared as if she was staking a claim on the actor.

Liying and William were rumoured to have been uncommonly close on the set of the period drama The Legend of Zu, even holding hands as they read the script together off camera. It is also suspected that Liying’s appearance on Nicholas Tse’s highly rated travel and food programme, Chef Nic, was thanks to William’s connection.

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