Speculation had been rife that local showbiz A-listers Fann Wong and Christopher Lee are expecting their first child.
For the past week, the celebrity couple had kept mum about the pregnancy, and their artiste agency Catwalk had even refuted the rumours. But the pair confirmed the good news yesterday.
Lee, 42, told Taiwanese media at a Chinese New Year praying ceremony held by Catwalk in Taiwan: "My wife of five years, Fann Wong, is three months pregnant. I've been looking forward to this for a long time, thanks everyone for your care and concern!"
In an e-mail interview with local media, the couple apologised for not making the baby announcement earlier.
"We are sorry that we couldn't officially share the good news in the past few days, as there is a Chinese belief that we can announce it only after three months. We are very happy that we finally can release the news today," they said.
Wong had just celebrated her 43rd birthday with Lee and close friends, celebrity hairstylist David Gan and film and television producer Anita Hatta, last Monday.
The group had posted a cheeky photo of themselves on Gan's Instagram account, with their fingers pressed against their mouths.
Referring to the photo, Gan told The New Paper yesterday over the phone: "I knew Fann was pregnant beforehand, but the photo wasn't meant to be a hint to the public. We simply posed for fun."
He added that Wong did not drink from the bottle of red wine shown in the same photo due to her pregnancy.
"When Fann came to greet me during Chinese New Year over the weekend, I could see a small baby bump," Gan, 52, said. "I am so happy for them, and I've been praying for both the mother and baby's well-being every day. I think I am even more excited than them."
Lee and Wong married in 2009 and had been trying for a baby from the start. They were constantly bugged by the media about her possible pregnancy, and would always tell the press that they are trying hard but will leave it to fate.
They also mentioned in the e-mail interview that they have not thought of any names for their baby, saying: "It doesn't matter if we are expecting a baby boy or girl, we are equally looking forward to the baby's arrival."
Wong went on to assure her fans that she and her baby are doing well.
'BOTH VERY HEALTHY'
She said: "I am finally going to be a mother. My baby and I are both very healthy, and we hope that the baby can bring all of us a lot of blessings. Can't wait to see our little bundle of joy!"
Lee added: "I am so happy that I am going to be a father. It's been tough for my wife, and we will welcome our little kid's arrival with everyone's blessings."
The actor, who is busy with acting projects in Taiwan, hopes to fly back to Singapore more frequently this year.
He said: "All my scheduled projects will continue as planned. But if possible, I want to be more involved in taking care of the baby."
A spokesman for Catwalk said Wong will be more selective about projects this year. She said: "There are projects in the pipeline, but it's up to Fann if she decides to take them on. Her health is still the most important, and this year can be a good time for her to rest."
She added: "We had refuted rumours earlier on, as we were not in the know also. It's the couple's privacy, so we didn't want to keep pressing them when they were not ready to announce the news last week."
Pregnant Fann rejects China movie role
Fann Wong had to reject a starring role in a movie in China due to her pregnancy.
Hairstylist David Gan, who is one of the couple's closest friends in showbiz, said yesterday: "Fann was supposed to star opposite Hong Kong actor Daniel Wu in that movie, but now we have to find another leading actress to replace her. It's a pity because the role was written just for her."
He added: "I am happy that Fann is expecting, but I am also a little frustrated that she cannot take on the role. I'll buy Fann many pretty maternity dresses when I see them during my travels."
Meanwhile, now that the news is out, some local celebrities said they knew about Wong's pregnancy all along.
But the loyal friends of the golden couple helped to keep it a secret.
Local actor Andie Chen, 28, who is based in Taiwan, told The New Paper yesterday: "I had insider news that Fann was pregnant, but I can't reveal who told me about it."
He added: "They are such a lovely and down-to-earth couple and I am really happy for them."
Chen, who is married to actress Kate Pang, 30, added: "My wife is also expecting a Horse baby; maybe our babies can get married in the future."
Local entertainer Dennis Chew had also heard the good news from industry insiders beforehand.
The 40-year-old said: "Chris and Fann's baby will be so cute and healthy because they are such nice people. I've been praying every day and God has answered my prayer."
But not everyone was in the know.
Some local celebrities said they found out the good news only yesterday and sent their congratulatory messages.
Local comedian-actor Mark Lee, 45, said: "Even though we acted in a movie together recently, Chris didn't hint to us at all. I wish Fann and her baby good health."
Veteran actor Richard Low, 61, who also worked with Lee on local movie Filial Party, added: "Chris and Fann had been trying for a baby for a long time and they've finally succeeded. It's a great way to welcome the Horse year."
Wong's fans plan to send the couple a hamper to congratulate them.
A spokesman for Fannatic Fann Club said yesterday: "We are extremely excited and happy to know about this great news from the sweetest couple! We wish Fann and the baby the best of health, and we look forward to meeting little Fann/Chris!"
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