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Can I Tell You Something Crazy Podcast: How an ‘Andy Lau obsession’ drove a father to suicide

Synopsis: Can I Tell You Something Crazy is a new scripted series under the #PopVultures banner, which examines with fresh eyes, events that shook Asian media and entertainment.

In March 2007, Hong Kong movie star Andy Lau attended a joyous event organised by Andy World Club, his official fan club. There, he played games, chatted with fans and took photos – including one with Yang Lijuan, a Chinese fan who had travelled from her hometown of Gansu province in China to meet her lifelong idol.

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Everything seemed fine. But just a day later, Yang Lijuan’s father – a retired schoolteacher named Yang Qinji – threw himself into the sea and left behind a 3,000-word suicide note addressed to Lau. In it he wrote: “Andy Lau, your heart is black, you have no conscience. You are worse than a dog.”

What had world-famous film star Lau done to incur such wrath from a humble schoolteacher in China?

In this episode of Can I Tell You Something Crazy, #PopVultures host Jan Lee revisits the most infamous “fan” in China – Yang Lijuan. Her father burnt through his savings, sold their family’s house and eventually took his own life, all to support his daughter’s lifelong, unhealthy fixation with Lau.

This is not just a story on one of the most extreme and tragic examples of what celebrity obsession can lead to, it is also a cautionary tale – about the incredible power the media wields and the incredible damage it can inflict.

Produced by: Jan Lee (janlee@sph.com.sg), Paxton Pang and Eden Soh

Edited by: Paxton Pang

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