“In America you should be killed by your husband with gun. This is real American way. You’re so lucky to be in China!” That’s allegedly what Li Yang, founder of Crazy English and self-styled evangelist of the English language, sent his wife, Kim Lee in a text message recently.
Kim published on her Weibo this morning screenshots taken with her iPhone of a conversation she had with her husband through a series of text messages. In the conversation, Li told her that she was “pyscho”, “sick”, a “total bitch”, and that “hell is your place”.
Fearful for her life, Kim said she was reporting the matter to the police and changing the locks at her apartment. “Li Yang has both fame and money, and has no fear of legal consequences,” she said, adding she was “[struggling] so the women behind me don’t have to”.
Two hours later, Li Yang himself appeared on Weibo, tweeting motivational messages in English and Chinese. His cryptic thought for the day: “The hardest part about growing up is letting go of what you were used to, and moving on with something you’re not.”
The acrimonious divorce between the two has played out in full public view since Kim published pictures on Weibo last September accusing Li Yang of domestic violence meted out in front of their children.
While professional counselling appeared to mend wounds in the marriage for a while, Li Yang subsequently bungled things up with media interviews in which he showed he was not quite penitent. In one highly watched talk show, dancer and celebrity Jin Xing famously told Li he was an “exceedingly filthy and selfish man”.
Shortly after that, Kim decided she had had enough and filed for divorce and full custody of their three children at a Beijing district court.
Women’s rights advocates have jumped on the case and reached out to Kim to push for a law against domestic violence.