'Why haven't you accepted me yet?' Jeffrey Xu admits he received hate, got called 'ah tiong' after going public with Felicia Chin

'Why haven't you accepted me yet?' Jeffrey Xu admits he received hate, got called 'ah tiong' after going public with Felicia Chin
Felicia Chin (left) was already a household name by the time Jeffrey Xu made his drama debut in 2011.
PHOTO: Instagram/Felicia Chin

Getting into a public relationship as a celebrity may come with its detractors, so it's no surprise that some showbiz couples choose to keep their romantic lives on the down low — at least in the beginning.

For actor Jeffrey Xu, he and former actress Felicia Chin initially kept their relationship secret for a year when they started dating in 2015 as they didn't know how to deal with the press.

The 34-year-old revealed on the latest episode of The Zoe and Liang Show: "At that time, I felt unworthy, because in my mind, Felicia was one of the Seven Princesses (of Mediacorp), like a goddess. It felt like she was out of my reach.

"If we disclosed our relationship, the press would definitely badmouth me."

It wasn't just the media affecting the Shanghai-born actor, but netizens with xenophobic hate too, after they went public.

"I read all their comments," he said. "There was name-calling, and this term called 'ah tiong'."

Ah tiong is a derogatory Hokkien slang used to describe people from mainland China.

Jeffrey continued: "They said I was dating out of my league.

"By that time, I had been in Singapore for quite some time, I'd done some projects. I thought, 'Why won't you accept me, why haven't you accepted me yet?' I felt disappointed."

Jeffrey won Star Search back in 2010, which Felicia, 38, also won back in 2003. By the time he made his drama debut in 2011's Devotion, she was already a household name.


"The reason I kept my relationship with Felicia secret for so long is because I thought, if I had made it known, I wouldn't be able to accept these [comments] and it would directly affect our relationship," he added.

Jeffrey would even call his parents back home after receiving hate, revealing that "Shanghai people are quite proud" and they had never faced such criticism before.

He added: "I was facing so many attacks in the form of online comments, so people even held us in contempt. I didn't know why they did that. Why couldn't you just offer us your blessings?"

Some celebrities may also fear that they would lose fans if they go public with a relationship, but did that happen to Jeffrey?

"No, I got more fans instead," he candidly said.

Instead, he was worried that Felicia would be the one to lose popularity, but the latter didn't appear to care either.


"It didn't seem like she was bothered by it," he said. "She acts the way she feels. She didn't pay much attention to this, and it was like, the fans who really supported her would never abandon her no matter what."

After seven years of dating, Jeffrey and Felicia got engaged on Aug 11 last year and their wedding quickly followed on Oct 22.

The Christian ceremony was livestreamed on YouTube, showing their fans both the tearjerkers and a hilarious faux-pas from the day.

Jeffrey thanked Felicia's mum in his speech, but accidentally called his new mother-in-law "Auntie".

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry! NG! NG! NG!" he corrected, after jeers from the audience and his new wife. "This is the last time I'm calling her 'Auntie'. From now on, I'll be calling her 'Mum'."


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