Why Jackie's manager quit

Why Jackie's manager quit
Jackie Chan with former manager Willie Chan (both above), who says fame got to the superstar's head

Hong Kong - Jackie Chan's former manager Willie Chan has revealed that he ended their 38-year partnership after fame went to the action superstar's head.

In the 1970s, when Jackie Chan was a stuntman, his manager was crucial to getting him leading roles in director Lo Wei's New Fists Of Fury and director Yuen Woo Ping's Snake In The Eagle's Shadow.

In an interview on Commercial Radio which aired last Saturday, Willie Chan spoke of why he left the star six years ago, said Apple Daily.

"Gradually he became so popular that fame went to his head a little, he didn't need my help anymore and I couldn't help him with much," the 73-year-old producer said. "There would be many high-ranking officials at the same table, or rich men and yes men. My words fell on deaf ears."

Lots of people wanted his job, he said, and he decided to "leave elegantly" on his own, rather than be forced out.

After meeting through actor Charlie Chin, the two Chans never signed a contract in their years together because they were as close as brothers, the producer said.

"He called me 'brother', he said he was illiterate and told me to help him read documents and scripts, and to help analyse things for him. He said then, 'I won't neglect you, I won't ignore you.'"

He remembered the days when he had to drag Jackie Chan onto a plane and help take care of his family, "from (his son) Jaycee's birth to house-hunting in America" for his wife, former actress Lin Feng-jiao.

He also explained how the actor ended up putting his foot in his mouth, when he said his affair with actress Elaine Ng, which produced a daughter in 1999, was a mistake "all men in the world" would have made.

The star had "many military advisers" at the time, and the plan had been for him to tell a story from the Bible, about a woman about to be stoned for adultery, said the producer. He had meant to say "many men make mistakes" and when it came out wrong, "we were all stunned", said Willie Chan.

Lin has taken over as her husband's manager since, said Apple Daily.

Speaking later to the newspaper, Willie Chan denied that he had been forced out by her. "Feng-jiao and Jaycee have been good to me."

He also told Commercial Radio that he went to one of Jackie Chan's 60th birthday parties in April. "It wasn't awkward. We're not enemies."

This article was first published on June 9, 2014.
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