The 'ah jie' (big sister) title in Singapore do not come easy. In fact, it often comes with a challenging price that can either make or break the person... but we are glad to see veteran actress Zoe Tay make it through it all.
In a recent interview with Toggle, 50-year-old Zoe Tay cleared up rumours of her alleged retirement and shed some light on the malicious (and hurtful) ones she had received over the past few decades.
A Throwback To 1991
Speaking to Toggle, Zoe Tay recalled:
"The first time it happened was shortly after I finished filming the 1991 drama Pretty Faces in which I played a materialistic character. Maybe it was also because I liked buying branded goods that people started gossiping about me. The rumours got more ridiculous and it carried on for years."
"Zoe Tay Is A Kept Woman"
Just when we thought things could not get worse, Zoe revealed there were rumours of her being a kept woman. In case you are wondering what a kept woman is, it refers to a woman who is being supported by a wealthy (and usually, older) man.
"I was only 19 or 20 when they started saying that I was a kept woman. When it happened, I was really upset. It did not affect just me but everyone at home as well. Everyone started looking at me differently and were judging me. I felt very wronged, cried a lot and could not believe that even my 'good friends' questioned the truth. I remember thinking to myself: if they are my true friends, they would not believe the rumours at all."
Zoe was hurt but after these episodes, she learned to not let what others say affect her.
"These days, I think of it this way– as an actor, you will always be judged by others but so what? What's most important is the way view yourself. But of course, you can't think too highly of yourself too. You just have to find the right balance and deal with the negative energy appropriately."
Another major rumour that went on about her was her alleged divorce with her husband of 18 years. Zoe's manager told her "people are saying that you're getting a divorce" but instead of crying about it, Zoe recalled that she took things in her stride and responded: "Okay, let them say what they want."
"I was someone who bore grudges and wouldn't forgive others but after some time, I learned that things don't work this way and I had to learn to accept, forgive and yet at the same time, remember to be kind to myself and don't others step all over me."
Who knew even our famous ah jie would have to face such emotional turmoil?
If you feel inspired by Zoe Tay's fight against malicious rumours, share this with someone and let them know the importance of standing up for yourself. x