TAIWAN - "We owe no one an explanation why we are together." That's what Taiwanese lyricist Li Kuncheng declares right from the start when The New Paper on Sunday approaches him for an interview.
His defensiveness, insists the 57-year-old in an exchange of Wechat and Facebook messages, stems from "my desire to protect my baby".
Li's baby is 17-year-old Lin Jing-en, a high school student.
So he "gently warns" you that he will not hesitate to "cut short the chat" if he feels that anyone is out to hurt her.
He admits: "The media hype and the public attention here (in Taichung, Taiwan) have spiralled out of control. I don't understand why people find it incredulous that a young, sweet girl can fall hopelessly in love with an old man. And by the way, who says 57 is old?"
The couple attracted public scrutiny when the news of their romance leaked out in April - two months after they started dating.
His ex-girlfriend, a 27-year-old PhD student, had tipped off the media, he says.
"She was the one who broke up with me," Li claims but declines to elaborate "because she has asked me not to talk about her or our past romance. "But what I must clarify is, our relationship started from pure friendship."