Jackie Chan Opens Up About Wife’s Reaction To His Affair

'In 1999, I made a serious mistake.'

Jackie Chan at the Los Angeles premiere of 'The LEGO Ninjago Movie' held at the Regency Village Theatre
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

'In 1999, I made a serious mistake.'

Jackie Chan worked his way from the ground floor up in Hollywood. According to the South China Morning Post, Chan started out as a stuntman netting just 5 HKD (Hong Kong Dollars) a day – which is currently about $0.64 USD – to becoming one of the highest paid male actors. Celebrity Net Worth confirms Chan currently has a net worth of $370 million.

According to South China Morning Post, Chan’s latest memoir titled Never Grow Up – the English translation has recently been published – shows a much darker side of the actor that a lot of his fans and followers do not know much about. The memoir touches on subjects of prostitution, alcohol addiction, and gambling.

His memoir also features a section he refers to as a “serious mistake” he made back in 1999 when he had an affair with a woman named Elaine Ng, resulting in the birth of his daughter despite being married to Taiwanese actress Joan Lin. Jackie and Joan had been married for over 10 years at the time when the affair took place.

“When the news broke about an affair I’d had that resulted in a love child, the media frenzy was like a bomb going off,” Chan revealed in an excerpt obtained by the South China Morning Post. “I wanted to phone Joan, but didn’t know what to say. I wouldn’t be able to explain this. It wasn’t a mistake I could fix by saying, ‘I’m sorry.'”

He added, “In 1999, I made a serious mistake.”

According to Yahoo Entertainment, Chan knew he had “screwed up royally” and fully expected a divorce request to follow when the news of his affair broke. So, he was surprised when his wife had an exceptionally calm and collected reaction to the news. Because he was so far away at the time, Jackie had no choice but to call his wife to discuss the affair.

“You don’t need to explain,” Joan told him over the phone, per Yahoo Entertainment. “I don’t want you to hurt her, and I don’t want her to hurt us. If you need me or our son to show up and stand by your side, we’ll do that. I know you must be feeling awful now. Don’t worry about me, I’m fine. You go deal with this.”

Chan admitted to sobbing and having a conversation with himself in the mirror after the phone call ended.

“You’re a real b*****d. All these years, you were so careful to close yourself off from her, and she’s completely open with you,” Chan scolded his reflection in the mirror.

A few days after the phone call, Jackie returned home to sit down with his wife and his son Jaycee to apologize for the mistake. According to the actor, the meeting was brief and they never spoke of the subject again.

According to Chan, Lin’s forgiveness demonstrated just how strong a woman she truly was.

The following day Chan altered his will, leaving everything to his wife. Chan reportedly has no relationship with his estranged daughter, Etta Ng, who is now a teenager.