More salacious gossip from the mainstream rumour mill on Gu Kailai, the wife of former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, now a key suspect in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
Hong Kong’s The Standard is reporting that Gu is suffering from bone cancer and only has a “short time” to live:
According to a source in Beijing, that may explain the sudden change in the character of Gu Kailai, 53, who is accused of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood.
Gu’s character changed so much that she was accused of “promiscuity” and flirting around “since her illness,” the source said, adding that this raises the question whether Beijing will execute her even if she is found guilty of murder.
“She doesn’t have much longer to live … maybe a year or two,” the source said.
British news reports claim Gu and Heywood, 41, had an affair and met in a shabby “love nest” at a flat on the south coast of England. He was even spotted pinching her bottom as they walked up stairs.
According to the Daily Mail, Heywood shared a 250,000 (HK$3.1 million) Bournemouth seafront flat with Gu, who has been named the chief suspect in the Briton’s death. He was found dead in a hotel room in Chongqing in November.
A friend of Neil Heywood tells The Guardian he had confessed to an inner circle of friends that Gu was “mentally unstable” and behaved like an “unforgiving empress”:
In conversations in the three years before his death, Heywood admitted that Gu’s behaviour had grown increasingly erratic. He told one friend that Gu – wife of the leading Chinese politician Bo Xilai – was comporting herself “like an old-fashioned Chinese aristocrat or empress”.
The friend was unconvinced by claims that the businessman and Gu were having an affair, and that this may have led to his murder. “I would be very surprised. He wasn’t at all complimentary about her. He said she was mentally unstable and a force to be reckoned with. It didn’t sound to me like the words of a man who was enamoured,” the source told the Guardian.
She said that the businessman painted a frank and dysfunctional portrait of Gu Kailai and her ambitious husband, a once serious candidate for the standing committee of the Politburo, the apogee of Chinese power. They presided over a small, exclusive group called the “inner circle”. This group was mainly Chinese, but it included two foreigners – Heywood, an old Harrovian, and a French architect.
The friend recounted: “Neil told me that Gu had demanded that the inner circle divorce their wives and pledge loyalty to her alone. She thought that someone in her inner circle was betraying her. He said for Gu loyalty to the family was more important than anything else. He told me she was behaving like an old-fashioned Chinese aristocrat or empress.”