It is not often that local ex-radio DJ Glenn Ong is left dumbstruck.
During his 19-year career as a jock, he has been notorious for his shoot-from-the-hip opinions, lightning-quick comebacks and wicked sense of humour.
But Ong, 45, was "speechless" yesterday when told that his ex-wife, radio DJ Jamie Yeo, had apologised for causing their split in 2009.
The couple tied the knot in 2004. It was Yeo's first marriage and Ong's second, after his four-year marriage to the late radio DJ Kate Reyes in 1999.
Yeo, 37, who will begin her stint at Gold 90.5 on March 2 after two years at Power 98, recently told entertainment magazine 8 days that the break-up was her fault and that she was "really sorry" for it.
She also revealed that she is divorcing her British husband, Mr Thorsten Nolte. She and Mr Nolte, a communications agency boss, have been married for four years and have a four-year-old daughter, Alysia.
Ong left MediaCorp last month and is a director at F&B and hospitality consulting firm Cir Vis. His fiancee, Class 95 radio DJ Jean Danker, is still with the company.
In an interview with The New Paper yesterday, he seemed stunned by Yeo's comments about him.
"Why would she do something crazy as that? I'm surprised. I wonder what's up with that. I really don't know," he said.
He hemmed and hawed for a while before saying: "It's big of her. Maybe this will answer the questions of a lot of people who blamed me for the split.
"I bore the brunt of it for years, with netizens calling me a jerk and saying I had cheated on her and was the cause of it all," he said.
Although the public apology was a shock, Ong said that Yeo had privately apologised to him in the past.
"Before she gave birth to Aly, she called to share (the news of) her pregnancy with me and to tell me that she was sorry," he said.
Attempts to reach Yeo through MediaCorp were unsuccessful.
In the article, Yeo said that her latest divorce was a mutual decision she and Mr Nolte had arrived at "when (they) saw how much unhappiness it was causing Aly".
She said they had been separated for 10 months and have exhausted all options to salvage the marriage, including attending marriage counselling and seeing a psychologist.
There were "deep-seated problems that stemmed from (their) inherent personality differences" and that it caused her sleeping trouble as she was crying a lot, she said.
Ong said that he learnt of Yeo's marriage breakdown earlier, but was not aware of the cause.
"I have no idea. But after me, it's very hard to find such a wonderful person," he joked.
If you can't take criticism, back off: Glenn Ong
An online exchange between Glenn Ong and TV producer and former actor Nicholas Lee over Channel 5 sci-fi series 2025 turned ugly yesterday.
Ong, in his trademark candid manner, had said the TV show was "the worst local drama series of all time".
He tweeted on the evening of Feb 14: "At least (the 1998 James Lye sci-fi drama) VR man was funny!"
Drama series 2025, which began airing on Jan 3, is produced by Lee's TV production company XXX Studios.
Lee, 49, is best known for his role as brash brother Ronnie Tan from hit 90s sitcom Under One Roof.
Set in the year 2025 in Singapore, the mystery series, which airs on Saturdays at 9.30pm, portrays a near future where technologies in development today are fully integrated into life.
It stars Lim Kay Tong and Amy Cheng, among other local actors.
Ong's comment about the show prompted a snide retort from its cast members.
Ong then posted a capture of the exchange on Instagram, where a none-too-amused Lee hit back with an expletive-laden comment.
Ong also posted a sarcastic "apology" on Twitter and Instagram.
His comment - "How could I have possibly been so blind and unsophisticated in giving 2025 a straight thumbs down?" - came with the hashtags "#apologytofansof2025" and "#everythingisawesome".
When contacted, Ong told TNP: "I made those comments on my Twitter page.
"As a radio DJ, I made fun of TV shows and people and injected humour at the same time. If you can't take my criticism, back off.
"I don't think anyone can say 2025 is a wonderful show. It's a horrible show. It has terrible special effects, terrible make-up."
Ong said Lee's comeback took him by surprise. "As a public figure, he shouldn't use such language and behave like that," he said.
For now, Ong said the spat is a closed chapter. Similarly, Lee said the whole episode is water under the bridge - unless Ong retaliates.
Lee said he considers Ong a friend, and has never disliked him.
"It's like warfare. If you attack me, I'd retaliate with an appropriate response. If he lets it go, I'll let it go."
"There are two kinds of people in this world - one who builds things up and one who knocks them down. One is him and the other is me. I leave you to figure out which is which.
"I felt he was being irresponsible and disrespectful towards the hundreds of people who worked on the show. Being the Egoman (Ong's Twitter handle is Glenn Egoman Ong), he thinks he's a big deal but he's being childish. He needs to be responsible with what he says."
This article was first published on Feb 18, 2015.
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