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Taiwan star Jerry Yan opens up about his impoverished childhood

Posted: 23 March 2010 1401 hrs


TAIPEI : Taiwan superstar Jerry Yan revealed some intimate details of his impoverished childhood during a recent interview with Japanese television station NHK in Taiwan.

Yan said his father got sick and passed away when he was just 12 so his mother raised both him and his older sister by working as a seamstress. They were so impoverished that Yan could only afford to eat damaged fruit as a child, according to a report on Chinese website Sina.com.

Yan, a former member of the now defunct boyband F4, started working to supplement the household income when he was still in his fifth year of primary school.

He also went on to describe his early home as having a cement plaster ceiling that constantly flaked off and containing an old refrigerator that once gave his sister an electric shock.

The "Meteor Garden" star said the most important woman in his life is his mother, and that the most memorable thing about her was "the view of her back" as she sewed clothes.

"My mother sat at the sewing machine sewing clothes for long periods of time while my sister and I helped with the household chores," said Yan.

Yan, who had only recently released his new pictorial book "9314 Man and Boy", said his birthday wish this year is for his mother to remain healthy and lead a comfortable life. He even bought her two pet dogs on her birthday to keep her company when he was busy with work.

The 33-year-old singer-actor had also bought her numerous designer handbags and expensive jewellery without batting an eyelid.

For Yan, however, the most important thing is to protect her privacy and afford her a peaceful existence.

To that end, Yan has declined to attend all events that required him to appear with his mother. Only their old neighbours, friends and relatives know his mother's identity.

- CNA/ha

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/entertainment/view/1045311/1/.html

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