HONG KONG: Veteran Hong Kong actor-singer Andy Lau has apologized for lying about his marriage, saying he behaved inappropriately for a public figure.
Lau denied that he was married in an interview with Hong Kong's Cable TV in February, but Hong Kong journalists last week discovered marriage records from the Clark County Recorder's Office in the US state of Nevada that the 47-year-old star had wed Malaysian girlfriend Carol Chu in June 2008. Lau confirmed the nuptials in a brief message on his Web site late Saturday, saying he did not announce the marriage because he wanted to shield Chu from the press.
Speaking publicly about the issue for the first time Tuesday afternoon, Lau said he was sorry he deceived the press and the public.
"My recent behavior amounts to a lie. It disappointed many people. Because I'm a public figure, I think I should publicly apologize to everyone who believed me. I hope everyone will forgive me," Lau told reporters at Hong Kong's international airport after returning from Beijing, where he was filming a music video.
Critics say Lau lied about his marriage to protect his image as an idol. One of Asia's biggest celebrities, the star of "Infernal Affairs" and "House of Flying Daggers" has appeared in more than 100 movies since his debut in 1982. Dubbed one of Chinese pop's "Four Heavenly Kings" in the 1990s, he also enjoys a successful recording career.
Lau denied Tuesday that he and his wife have any children.
He said on his Web site Saturday he and Chu had married so they could try to have children through artificial insemination, which is only authorized for married couples in Hong Kong.
"I don't have any children. I don't have any sons or daughters. The children you have photographed are the children of my relatives or friends," he said.