Chow Yun Fat’s wife opens up in rare interview 26 years after their baby daughter died

Chow’s wife Jasmine Tan talks about the loss of her daughter in an Apple Daily interview.
Apple Daily screengrab

In 1991, Hong Kong A-list actor Chow Yun Fat and his Singaporean wife Jasmine Tan were ecstatic parents-to-be.

Their baby girl was due to arrive in a week, and they had decorated a nursery room to welcome her into their family.

But it was not to be.

Chow and Tan found out a week before their daughter was due to be born that she had died from umbilical cord strangulation.

For years, Hong Kong media had speculated about why Chow and Tan remained childless after many years of marriage.

In 2015, it was reported that the couple decided not to have children after the traumatic experience of losing their first child.

This week, Tan, now 57, revealed the truth in a rare interview with Hong Kong tabloid Apple Daily.

The first two parts of the 15-part interview have so far been released on Apple Daily’s website.

In the videos, Tan wipes away tears as she recounted how she had suspected something was amiss when she noticed the baby had stopped kicking inside her womb.

“I asked my husband: ‘Why isn’t our daughter kicking me today?’,” she said in Cantonese.

The next day, she walked through knee-deep floods in stormy weather to visit the doctor’s office, only to find out the sad news.

“I don’t know why I did not cry at that moment. I only thought: ‘Why me?’

“I really desired to have this daughter,” she said.

Chow Yun Fat with wife Jasmine Tan at Marina Bay Sands on 4 December 2012.
The Straits Times

Although the doctor suggested that she could have the body of her baby surgically removed, she rejected the idea and insisted on giving birth naturally despite knowing her child was dead.

After the incident, the paparazzi crowded outside of their home, forcing Chow to take her out of the country so she could recover in peace.

Tan revealed it took her seven years to recover from the traumatic incident.

“When I visited a clinic, a nurse asked me: ‘How is your daughter?’ I said: ‘My daughter has died.’,” she recalls.

“It’s the truth, the past is the past, it’s okay,” she said.

On why they didn’t go on to have children, she said Chow’s schedule was too hectic as he had been at the peak of his career.

But she continues to love children, and has expressed it through charity projects over the years.

“I don’t need to adopt… I have this love to give away to a lot of people. What matters is the heart,” she said.