Singer and actor Leon Lai is known to be a private person, but the star opened up recently about the romantic setbacks in his life on a popular Chinese television show.
Regarded as one of the four Heavenly Kings in Hong Kong pop culture, Lai fessed up on Dragon TV's The Jinxing Show last week that he was heartbroken after ending a seven-year relationship with actress Shu Qi in 2004.
"Everyone experiences pain. If there isn't pain, we won't be able to come together," he told show host Jin Xing, who felt that the pair make an ideal couple.
When the host asked him if their split was due to pressure from society, Lai, who is 50 today, said he could not talk about the reason and suggested that it was pointless to do so since Shu Qi, 40, had already married.
The media had speculated on the causes then, highlighting fans' disapproval of her because she was once a soft-porn actress and Lai's reluctance to admit he was in a relationship with her.
She was first linked to Fung when they acted together in Bishonen in 1997 but went on to have a serious relationship with Lai after both co-starred in City Of Glass in 1998.
Lai, who divorced model Gaile Lok in 2012 after four years of marriage, said he still believes in love, adding that he would give his best shot in a new romance, despite his romantic failures.
"If I don't believe in it anymore, I might as well become a monk. You definitely have to make sacrifices when it comes to love. That is what love is about. If you don't make sacrifices for it, then other person won't do it either. I still believe in fate, and I will cherish it when it comes," said Lai, who had admitted in 2012 that he had been selfish in the marriage.
The still-dashing debonair star, also revealed that he first fell in love at 18 or 19 with a classmate. In recent years, the media have reported him seeing a model half his age.
When questioned about the type of woman he desires, he said: "One day, we will all get fat. We can't just focus on looks alone."
He was also asked about the strong points of several female celebrities named by the host. He said singer Faye Wong epitomises integrity, while he would safely share a secret with actress Maggie Cheung.
As for the woman he admires most, it is none other than Shu Qi.