They were the victims of false online stories. But it appears that actress Chen Li Ping and local beauty and wellness spa Mary Chia might be having the last laugh after all.
Stories have been circulating on the Internet alleging that Chen was crediting her weight loss to slimming pills instead of weight management programmes by Mary Chia. But it was the last straw when talk surfaced that she had been fired as its brand ambassador.
Yesterday, Chen, 49, decided to set the record straight - in person - and she gave her treatments from Mary Chia a ringing endorsement.
"My successful weight loss is entirely the result of Mary Chia's treatments," she said at a press conference held at Mary Chia's nex outlet yesterday.
She also dismissed rumours of a falling out between her and the company, stressing that their working relationship remains strong.
The false allegations were carried on a website which masqueraded as that of a leading American health magazine. In those stories, Chen was quoted as saying that Mary Chia's treatment had "barely made a difference" and that she started to lose weight only after taking a specific type of slimming pill.
In a strongly-worded statement, Mary Chia Holdings' chief executive, Wendy Ho, said those stories had "no regard for truth whatsoever" and said scam artists had fabricated complete lies in order to sell their own slimming pills.
Ms Ho added that her company is working with lawyers to investigate the matter.
She said the spa, which initially sought to debunk the lies via social media, decided to call a press conference to clear the air because it had received numerous phone calls over the weekend from members of the public who had bought the slimming pills promoted in the scam stories.
Asked if she is worried that this incident might taint her image, Chen said she has nothing to worry about since none of the allegations are true.
"In fact, this episode serves to warn people against such scams, especially those who are easily convinced by things they see on the Internet," she said.
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