Ken Tong not guilty over ex's suicide

BEIJING - Actor Ken Tong says he does not have a guilty conscience about his late former girlfriend, actress Barbara Yung, who committed suicide after their break-up. They were two of TVB's hottest stars in the 1980s, but in 1983, her hit, Legend Of The Condor Heroes, overshadowed The Demi-Gods & Semi-Devils, the 1982 show that shot him to stardom.

In an interview with NetEase website, Tong, 56, admitted arguing with her. "Couples will definitely quarrel and breaking up is common. Every day, there are people who are together then separate, or they might divorce however long they have been together."

Yung died at age 26 in 1985, after inhaling gas in her home. That year, Tong had been photographed at gatherings with actress Sandra Ng, and Yung, dancing with another man in a disco.

He said her death was unfortunate and could have been avoided. "At the time I hadn't turned on my pager," he said. "Or another night, that kind of thing might not have happened. Or I could have been awake at 11 or 12, seen the pager and maybe really saved her with a phone call."

He was vilified as a heartbreaker after Yung's death. Tong said his deepest regret was that he was too young and inattentive to Yung's emotional state. "If I had been 10 years older than her, if I was experienced, I might have felt there was a problem."

He said he had a clear conscience and never two-timed her. "I didn't go against my conscience. I didn't betray the other person. Even though a lot of things happened after she and I separated, I feel I haven't done anything wrong."

He has five children from two marriages.

This article was first published on Nov 19, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.