Stephen Chow’s very public and very ugly legal battle with his ex-girlfriend over their finances last year gave a rare glimpse into the personal life of the fiercely private 58-year-old comedy icon.
Showbiz pundits went on to say that of all the women Stephen had dated, be it for real or allegedly, only Karen Mok, 50, remains on good terms with him.
Veteran Hongkong journalist Bai Lu Mei, yup, the same person who wrote that exposé on Joey Wong’s love life, recently delved into the relationship between Stephen and Karen for reporters.
Bai Lu Mei described Karen as “straightforward, spontaneous, a little willful and vocal”, and that she's someone who "isn't afraid of people's opinion of her".
The journo also recalled how when Karen first joined showbiz, she was quickly scouted by Stephen to act in his 1995 movie A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box, adding that it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the comedian is partially responsible for Karen’s success.
According to Bai Lu Mei, Stephen admired Karen’s wit and unique personality and that the former saw the actress as a soulmate with whom he could have deep conversations about movies. So when he broke up with Athena Chu, he and Karen started dating secretly.
Of all Stephen’s past girlfriends, Karen was the one whom Stephen’s mum liked the most. Bai Lu Mei said that it’s because the actress is cultivated, knowledgeable and respectful of the elderly.
Years ago, Stephen’s mum also revealed that even though Stephen doesn’t ever want to get married, the only woman that he had any intention of marrying was Karen Mok.
At that time, Karen was also besotted with Stephen. According to Bai Lu Mei, she was a fan of his talent and saw him as a cinematic genius, and so was utterly devoted to the director. But Stephen had a love life that was too “rich and exciting”, which Karen apparently couldn’t accept and so she initiated the breakup.
It’s said that Leslie Cheung felt very sorry for Karen and so he got her to work together with heartthrob Stephen Fung hoping that sparks would fly between the two. And according to Bai Lu Mei, sparks really did fly and the pair dated in secret for eight years.
When Stephen Chow eventually found out that Karen was seeing Stephen Fung, he was heartbroken, to say the least. He had plans to woo her back but eventually respected her decision to move on.
While Stephen Fung is now married to screen goddess Shu Qi, Karen went full circle and got hitched to her first love German finance exec Johannes Natterer in 2011.
The couple dated when they were 17-year-olds and studying in Italy and it was only after 24 years that they found each other again.
On the other hand, Stephen Chow remains single and seems intent on staying that way.