(NEW YORK) — The Hong Kong billionaire who offered millions to any man who could successfully woo his lesbian daughter told ABC’s 20/20 in an exclusive new interview that he wouldn’t force her to change her “gay tendency,” but seems to hold out hope that she will anyway.
“I’m not saying that she’s not okay to be gay. I mean it’s her own choice and her own tendency… But [she should] make sure she knows what she wants. Maybe what she wants today is different [than] what she wants in the future,” Cecil Chao told 20/20 in an interview airing Friday.
Chao, 76, a Hong Kong real estate magnate, made headlines late last month when news reports quoted him as saying he would offer $500 million Hong Kong dollars — $65 million in U.S. cash — to a successful male suitor for Gigi Chao, one of Cecil Chao’s three children.
Since the announcement, offers from men around the world have come pouring in, but the tycoon’s daughter isn’t interested.
“My heart is taken,” she told 20/20.
Gigi Chao, 33, has been in a relationship with a woman, Sean Eav, for eight years. The pair made it official in a church ceremony in Paris earlier this year.
Gigi Chao said she broke the news of the Paris ceremony to her father in June.
“He was surprised and unpleasantly shocked by it,” she recalled. She said her father also urged her not to make the news public, but word leaked out when a tabloid reporter asked Eav in September when the two would be married. Eav told the reporter the couple was already married.
Meanwhile, Cecil Chao questioned the validity of his daughter’s marriage.
“I explained to him that it’s (by) no means legal, and it’s a church ceremony — a church blessing,” Gigi Chao said. “And so, he found it necessary to make an announcement that, ‘My daughter is, in fact, not married, she’s still single.'”
But Cecil Chao then went a step further.
While “the reporters had their mics in his face, he just kind of goes, ‘No. No, she’s not homosexual. She’s not– she doesn’t have gay tendencies. She’s not married. In fact, I’m trying to find a husband for her. Why don’t you guys try to help me. I’ll offer 500 million,'” Gigi Chao said.
Long time watchers of Cecil Chao, a staple of Hong Kong tabloids for years, may find his sudden championing of marriage surprising. Chao himself has never married. He fathered his three children with three different women and has boasted of sleeping with more than 10,000 women.
Nonetheless, he said he wants a “normal family life” for his daughter.
Watch the full story on 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN