Archive for the ‘Partly Asian Celebs’ Category
Well, unlike last year’s Oscars when we saw two Asians take the stage to accept their Academy Awards, this year, the only Asians we saw at the Oscars were on the red carpet on the arms of their partners.
There was Jason Reitman (nominated for Best Director for Up in the Air) and his wife, Michele Lee:
Model and actor Daniel Henney is so damn hot one wonders why he isn’t a bigger star — especially in America.
I only discovered him a few years ago when my mom was watching a Korean drama called My Name is Kim Sam Soon. I was keeping my mom company on the couch, mildly amused by the drama about a pudgy female pastry chef. Then Henney appeared on the screen and I sat bolt upright. “Who’s that?” I asked my mom, my eyes devouring his perfect face.
The fascination with Olympic short speedskater Apolo Ohno’s estranged mother shows no signs of abating.
The obsession is stoked, in part, because so little is known about her. It’s been reported that her name is Jerrie Lee, she is Caucasian, and she and Apolo’s dad, Yuki Ohno, divorced in 1983 when Apolo was only a year old.
It was unusual for the time, but when the couple divorced, it was the father who got full custody of the son, rather than the mother. This, despite the fact that Yuki owned a hair salon in Seattle, Wash., worked 12-hour days and had little time to take care of a small child. (One Halloween, little Apolo sat in his father’s salon wearing his costume, waiting to be taken trick-or-treating as it got darker and darker, and later and later. His father couldn’t leave; he had to tend to his clients.)
Why did Apolo’s father get custody? Why not his mother? Didn’t she want her baby?
One clue is revealed by a 2002 newspaper article which states that Apolo’s mother was only 18 years old when she married Yuki Ohno, a Japanese immigrant who was 37 years old at the time. When they divorced a year later when Apolo was still a baby, Yuki got custody. Maybe his teenaged mother knew she was ill-equipped to raise a child at the time.
Whatever the reason, it appears Apolo was raised with little or no contact with his mother, and hasn’t talked to her for decades. “After 19 years, it would be strange,” Apolo told the St. Petersburg Times in 2002. “I don’t have any (lost child) hotlines out for her.”
Yuki wants to keep his ex-wife out of the picture. ”There’s no story about her,” Yuki told Sports Illustrated in 2002. “No story. It’s insignificant to what he is now. We’ve got to keep it that way.”
Insignificant? No mother, whether estranged or not, is ever insignificant to a child. She may have had nothing to do with his becoming an Olympian, but as the person who gave birth to Apolo, she cannot be dismissed. Her non-presence has got be a factor in his life. It must affect him in some way that he did not experience a mother’s love while growing up.
As for the mysterious Jerrie Lee, does she watch Apolo on television when he competes in the Olympics? Did she watch several years ago when he won Dancing with the Stars? Does she think, “There is my child.” Or does she change the channel?
Hah! Despite his lengthy, televised apology last week, Tiger Woods has lost yet another sponsor.
“Add Gatorade to the list of endorsement deals that Tiger Woods has lost,” the Associated Press reported on February 26.
It’s not that one is glad Tiger is losing sponsors, but if Tiger thought his emotionless and defiant apology on February 19 would be sufficient to begin repairing his public image, he needs to have some new people advising him.
Last November 25 — two days before the fateful car accident outside Tiger’s home — it was reported that Gatorade would be discontinuing the Tiger Focus drink. It had nothing to do with revelations of Tiger’s numerous extramarital affairs as the decision had been made months beforehand.
But Gatorade confirmed to the Associated Press on February 26 that it has ended its relationship with Tiger, except for continuing some work with his foundation.
“We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship,” a Gatorade spokeswoman told the Associated Press. “We wish him all the best.”
When Australian figure skater Cheltzie Lee skated onto the ice this evening for the women’s short program during the Winter Olympics, I thought she had a spray-on tan. It turns out, Lee’s caramel-colored skin is natural. According to the NBC commentator, Lee’s father is Chinese (born in Bangladesh) and her mother is African-American (born in Louisiana).
Competing in the Olympics can shine a spotlight not only on your talents, but your family life, too. Who is in the stands cheering you on? Is it both your mother or father, or are they divorced? Are you estranged from one parent or the other?
Just like the summer Olympics in Beijing when we watched Michael Phelps being cheered on by his mother — the public learning that his parents are divorced and Phelps estranged from his father — viewers watched American speed skater Apolo Ohno and his father, Yuki Ohno (pictured below) with curiosity.
While Japanese-born Yuki was seen everywhere with his son and is famously his strongest supporter, Apolo’s mother was nowhere to be seen, with no mention of her.
Information on Apolo’s mother is scant. She is described as a Caucasian-American woman named Jerrie Lee. She was married to Yuki, but they divorced in 1983 when Apolo was barely a year old. Yuki had his own hair salon in Seattle, Washington at the time and was working long hours.
The divorcing couple agreed that “little Apolo would be better off with a father who worked 12-hour days and had no relatives to help him,” reports Sports Illustrated in a 2002 article.
Apolo told Sports Illustrated that he has no interest in learning about his mother, or the half-brother who is 10 years older than him. “There’s no story about her,” Yuki told Sports Illustrated. “No story. It’s insignificant to what he is now. We’ve got to keep it that way.”
Well, for once it’s refreshing and new to hear a disgraced celebrity cite — not God or Christianity — as the path to redemption, but Buddhism! That’s what happens when your mother is originally from Thailand and raises you Buddhist.
Tiger Woods, looking bloated, puffy and chipmunk-cheeked, gave a press conference today to address the numerous, scandalous affairs that brought him tumbling down from his pedestal last November and threatened to destroy his career and marriage. Standing before a carefully assembled group of friends, business associates, his mother and hand-picked reporters, Woods admitted, “I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated.”
Why he had affairs with all those women: “I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled.”
He was selfish and thought only of himself, admits Woods. His mother, Kultida Punsawad Woods, who is originally from Thailand, was at the conference and hugged her son afterwards. The person glaringly absent from the press conference was Woods’ wife, Elin Nordegren. (I could have you told you she wasn’t going to be there.)
The press conference was carefully controlled. Woods’ team only invited a hand-picked small group of reporters from the Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg News. No questions were allowed. Tiger simply read from a statement that was 14 minutes long. (Watch the video and read his entire statement here.)
Woods said that he has had intense therapy (though he wouldn’t specify whether it was for sexual addiction) and is trying to rebuild his marriage and his career. Will he and his wife stay married? That is between them as husband and wife, Woods said.
I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it. Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.
One wonders. Who helped Tiger write that speech?