Marcus Chin has no problems baring his soul to the camera.
Besides the highs and lows of his career, the 67-year-old host also spoke unflinchingly about his past scandal in the latest episode of Quan Yi Fong's talkshow "Hear U Out."
In response to Quan's observation of his openness, Chin said at once, "What more can they ask when you've disclosed everything?"
If you're a very young reader, Chin hogged the headlines in 2009 for having an affair with his fan-turned-personal assistant, Eileen Cheah. Cheah was 24 years old then, while Chin was 56.
However, Chin prefaced this topic by saying that "talking about certain things will hurt some people."
How he got to know Cheah
The host set up the story with a rocky marriage between himself and his estranged wife, former Taiwanese singer Murong Ying.
Cheah was a fan who had turned up at all his events and performances to support him, leading the two to exchange numbers and even meet up frequently.
Chin subsequently hired her as his personal assistant.
"That was how we started," Chin said evenly.
But the host got "bolder" as the affair progressed, and he would bring Cheah along for public events (getai), where they were photographed by reporters.
At the height of the rumours, Chin and Cheah went overseas together, when the former was leading tour trips.
"I was being impulsive and decided to just do it, and to take the consequences as they came," Chin said in a sombre tone, before smiling sheepishly.
Not too long after, Cheah got pregnant.
"I was shocked when it first came out in the papers. Then it went on for 21 days," he said to laughter from Quan. "I felt like a sinner."
In 2010, Cheah gave birth to their daughter, Elise.
Chin added that he has never been happy after leaving his wife, despite what others may think. The two had spent 23 years together.
After one to two months of no contact, Chin decided to make a trip back to their old home, where he secretly checked in on Ying.
When his wife requested alimony, Chin acquiesced and hired a lawyer to follow through the procedures.
The court later ruled a monthly payment of S$4,000, which Chin has been paying for more than a decade.
Life in Malaysia with girlfriend and child
At one point in his life, Chin lived in Malaysia with Cheah and their daughter — a time which he described as "miserable".
"I'm not talking about my life with Cheah and Elise," he quickly clarified. Rather, Chin was referring to his schedule.
His day started at 4am, waking up to travel to Singapore for work. Upon returning to Malaysia at noon, Chin would continue toiling at the singing school that he set up, till 7pm.
After a day's work, he would have dinner with Cheah, and went to bed at around 10pm - 11pm.
However, the two eventually broke up in 2011.
Chin attributed it to their age gap of 32 years, which led to a difference in mindsets.
He recalled the desolation he felt upon moving out of their home in Malaysia and coming back to Singapore.
With nothing to his name, Chin had to start from scratch, not for the first time in his life.
To this day, Chin and Ying are still legally wedded, as he had never dared to bring up the subject with her.
Chin also pays a monthly child support fee of S$1,000 to Cheah.
Due to his financial obligations, Chin has been renting a room for his accommodation, instead of purchasing his own property.
Top image via meWATCH