Superstar Mario Maurer and his girlfriend have apologised to his Chinese fans after taking a recent holiday to Japan at a time when the two countries were at odds over an island dispute.
Mario Maurer and Sumontip ‘Koop Kip’ Leuangthai.
Mario's Chinese fans are feeling put out after his girlfriend Sumontip ''Koop Kip'' Leuangthai posted pictures on Instagram of the couple on a recent holiday to Japan.
Mario visited Beijing in April to launch the movie Love on that Day, a Thai-Chinese co-production partly filmed in China, in which he starred. It was his first attempt to gain a foothold in the Chinese market.
While his fans were happy to have him there, some were less than pleased when he declared during shooting that he was seeing Koop Kip.
Their mood soured even further when Koop Kip posted pictures of the couple enjoying a recent holiday in Japan.
China and Japan are arguing over ownership of a group of islands in the South China Sea. The pair's trip came amid heightened tensions in the long-running row.
Mario and Koop Kip say they knew nothing of the dispute as they frolicked together in the Land of the Rising Sun. He insists his Japan visit probably hasn't hurt his career hopes as a rising talent in the region _ he stars next in a co-production with the Philippines _ but has offered each side his hopes of an early resolution to their dispute.
Mario was reunited in Love on that Day with Thai actor Witwisit Hirunwongkul, his co-star in his first movie outing, the 2007 family gay drama Love of Siam.
During production he declared he was seeing Koop Kip, as he thought the honest approach was better than pretending to his overseas fans that he was still single.
Writing on the internet, some of his Chinese fans said they would prefer him unattached, or at least in a gay coupling with Witwisit.
The pair played gay teen lovers in Love of Siam.
Since then, Mario's Chinese fans have found further cause to grumble, after Koop Kip posted their holiday snaps online.
''Mario should have shown more sensitivity and avoided visiting Japan at a time when the two countries are at odds,'' his Chinese fans said.
''If he would rather visit Japan than China, he should go to work in Japan instead and leave us alone,'' one said.
The internet criticism left actress Koop Kip unmoved. ''The more they criticise, the more I will post. I can't read Mandarin anyway,'' she said in July, saying members of her Thai fan club who knew the language had explained to her what the fuss was about.
Such was the tide of criticism, however, that Koop Kip backed down last week and offered an apology to fans for the pictures.
Writing in broken English to Mario's fans, Koop Kip said the pair did not know about the dispute when they set off on their holiday. ''So sorry I didn't know about problem ... I planned to came here for a long time,'' she wrote.
''Hope every problem can fix and everything will OK soon,'' she said.
For some of Mario's fans, she couldn't even get that right. Some posters chided her for having the cheek to refer to Japan with a capital ''J'', while China suffered the indignity of being written with a small ''C''.
Mario defended Koop Kip's right to post the pictures, while admitting she had since taken them down from her Instagram site.
''I don't want to talk about the dispute, as it is a sensitive matter. However, I hope each side can resolve their differences soon,'' he said. The row would not deter him from making future visits to Japan.
Mario is not the only Thai star with a Chinese fan club who has suffered their wrath after stepping into sensitive political territory.
Actor Nawat ''Pong'' Kulrattanarak said his Chinese fans once rounded on him for re-tweeting a pithy comment by the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader. ''They asked me if I didn't know that China and Tibet were at odds,'' he said.
''I deleted it, even though I didn't want to, and the matter ended.
''It's a really sensitive matter ... just going to Japan can get you in trouble,'' he said, referring to Mario's ill-fated trip. He and Mario had visited China together in the past, without encountering any difficulty from their Chinese fans.
Love the gifts, not the guy
Chuchai Chairitthilert and Thakrit ‘Phet’ Hamannopjit.
Channel 3 actor Thakrit ''Phet'' Hamannopjit insists he is all man, despite pictures emerging of him in a close embrace with a millionaire gem dealer.
Gossip Star reported last week that Phet, a newcomer to the industry, had been warned by Channel 3 bosses after he was pictured getting close to gem dealer Chuchai Chairitthilert, who likes to shower precious stones on young entertainers who take his fancy.
Media reports said Chuchai invited Phet to his birthday party at Wat Hua Lamphong in May, when he took off his ring and slipped it on Phet's finger. In one image, Phet is shown proudly holding up the ring for the camera.
He also appears standing side by side with Chuchai with his arm around the older man's waist.
Gossip Star said Channel 3 bosses were unhappy with the images, as they portrayed Phet in an unflattering flight. The incident had prompted similar warnings to other young men in Channel 3's stable, it said.
Speaking to the Siam Dara gossip rag, Phet admits he was shocked by the pictures, as they came out differently than he expected. ''A whole bunch of celebrities went. I even took my dad,'' he said last week.
''Pi Chuchai was the party's host and asked to have his picture taken with me, so how could I refuse?'' he said.
''As soon as we had posed for pictures, he took the ring back again,'' he said.
Asked if he was worried his fans would think he is gay, Phet said he has no fear of that, as everyone knows he prefers women.
''I'm all man, for sure,'' he said.
In August last year, Chuchai prepared a six-figure diamond pendant gift for actor Thanawat ''Pope'' Wattanapoom, to say sorry after he was linked to him as a possible party date.
Chuchai was taken with Pope, whom he had met at a birthday function. News emerged soon after that Chuchai would like to invite Pope to a party at his jewellery store. Pope declined the invitation, saying he was too busy.
Undeterred, the gems dealer prepared a pendant in the shape of a ''P'', for Pope, as consolation for the fact that news of the invitation had leaked out. Pope, who says he is straight, also declined the offer of the pendant.
And look who's back ...
Rungnapa ‘Annie’ Brook.
Actress Rungnapa ''Annie'' Brook has made a teary plea for public sympathy in her paternity dispute with superstar RS superstar Rattapoom ''Film'' Tokongsub.
Annie last week published on Instagram a picture herself crying, while holding her child, Tekayu.
''I feel tired at times, and have to cry. I'm tired of bullies and a shared fate which we must both try to overcome,'' she wrote.
Reaction was mixed. While some visitors to her page sympathised with her plight, others said she was merely trying to drum up publicity for herself. The Manager/ASTV newspaper asked if Annie was playing a dramatic role as she clutched Tekayu to her chest and squeezed out a tear.
In September, 2010, Annie claimed she had given birth to Film's unwanted son, then aged three months.
Film refused to acknowledge he was the father until she submitted the child's DNA to a paternity test. Annie refused, and both sides took each other to court.
The pair announced they had settled a defamation row arising from the paternity dispute in February last year.
However, both sides have now gone back to court after Film claimed Annie failed to abide by the agreement. He said Annie was supposed to remove his name as father from the child's birth record, but has refused.
Film's lawyer, Surapol Sintunawa, lodged papers with the Pathum Thani court in July asking for judgement against Annie.
He said Film is willing to take a DNA test to prove he is not the father, and urged Annie to cooperate. If she refused, he would seek further action against her for forging Films signature on the child's birth papers. The court accepted the case and has called the two sides together for talks.
Film has now published a cartoon image on Instagram of a goat holding a sign reading ''Guilt''. The young star, who has referred to himself previously as a scapegoat in the public morals drama with Annie, said people should think before they speak, as it could have repercussions: ''I don't say much, but I don't like people who make accusations without proof!''
About the author
- Writer: Mae Moo