For 84-year-old Taiwanese writer and producer Chiung Yao, her biggest fear is developing dementia, the same illness her late second husband, publishing magnate Ping Shin-tao, was also diagnosed with. After a year and a half with zero updates on social media, the famed romance novelist finally took to social media to share the results of her MRI this year.
Because of her age, Chiung Yao mentioned in the past that she was scared of getting dementia. So in May of this year, she finally got an MRI to get a definite diagnosis. The good news is, she neither has dementia or amnesia. Appearing in front of the media earlier in the month, Chiung Yao said “auntie is still mentally strong! … I wanted to tell you the good news! ..” She also encouraged everyone to “smile with me! My tulip tree and Poinciana are all growing well. I’m feeling great too! This is the happiest time of my life”.
Queen of Romance
Chiung Yao is often considered the most popular romance novelist in the Chinese speaking world with her work adapted into countless films and dramas. Some of her most recognised works to this day include Plum Blossom Brand (梅花烙) and the My Fair Princess aka Princess Pearl (還珠格格) series which catapulted the careers of its stars Vicky Zhao Wei, Ruby Lin, Alec Su, Zhou Jie and Fan Bingbing overnight.
You may also remember the lawsuit she slapped against producer Yu Zheng back in 2014 accusing him of plagiarising Plum Blossom Brand for his costume historical Palace 3: The Lost Daughter. Although Yu Zheng denied the claim, the court ruled in Chiung Yao’s favour, requiring him to apologise publicly which he did on New Year’s Eve in 2020 and to compensate her RMB 5 million.