Is HK star juggling three actresses?

Hong Kong actor Kevin Cheng is one flirtatious rogue, going by media reports there.

The Hong Kong press claimed the 42-year-old star is romancing three women, possibly at the same time.

The New Paper met him recently at a press conference held by broadcaster TVB for the Hong Kong International Film and Television Market, and asked him how many women he's dating now.

"I'm not dating anyone," Cheng shot back with a smile.

"I can't follow (the rumours) fast enough. They say I'm with this woman, then I'm reportedly with another woman."

In the last few months, the award-winning star of popular TV dramas Scarlet Heart and Ghetto Justice is said to have reconciled with ex-girlfriend and Hong Kong actress Charmaine Sheh, 36.

She even reportedly went through a secret corridor to get to Cheng's hotel room in Hengdian, China, where she allegedly spent the night.

In February, reports claimed Cheng cheated on Sheh with pretty Chinese actress Ying Er, 23, his co-star in the Chinese drama Hero.

Last month, a Hong Kong magazine reported that Cheng has been secretly dating his Scarlet Heart co-star, Hong Kong-based Taiwan actress Annie Liu, for three months.

Cheng said, sounding sarcastic: "(The reporters) can't help it.

"They had already paid for the travel expenses (to trail me to China), so they must write an article, anything about me.

"But they didn't manage to take any (incriminating) photos of me, so what could they do? They decided to write about me (romancing a random) actress.

"I understand they have to answer to their editors, so I let it be."

Liu also recently denied any romance with Cheng.

The heat has been on Cheng ever since Scarlet Heart propelled him to become an A-list heart-throb in China.

His TVB drama Ghetto Justice also received rave reviews.

Last year, he won Best Actor at the TVB 44th Anniversary Awards and also Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 16th Asian Television Awards for his performance in it.

Sequel

Cheng will reprise the role of barrister Law Lik-Ah in a sequel to Ghetto Justice.

Other upcoming shows unveiled at the TVB press conference include dramas Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles starring Tavia Yeung and Kenneth Ma, Highs And Lows starring Kate Tsui and Raymond Lam, and Beauty At War headlined by Sheren Tang and Moses Chan.

There have also been reports of Cheng throwing his weight around on film sets.

But Cheng denied these allegations.

"I believe in being nice to the people around you because you've to meet them again when you come back down," he said.

"What goes up must come down. It's Newton's law. I can't worry about it so I'm enjoying the moment and trying to make it last...

"Other people like the crew and my co-stars clarified the rumours, so it becomes harder for the magazines to create (more rumours)."

Though he sounded flippant, Cheng admitted that he resents such reports.

An actor's attitude is very important and it's a very serious allegation, he said.

The reports haven't caused him any harm so far, but if they cross the line, Cheng said he will consider seeking legal advice.

"The bottom line is, don't touch my family, and (the articles) cannot affect my work," he said.

"And don't say I have an affair with a married woman. If (a published report) says I'm breaking up someone's marriage, I would definitely send a lawyer's letter."

Fame seems to be a double-edged sword for Cheng.

While his popularity has resulted in increased media scrutiny of his private life, it has also given his faltering music career a new lease of life.

Cheng, who entered showbiz in 1993 as a singer, recently signed a recording contract with Hong Kong's Emperor Entertainment Group.

At the contract-signing ceremony in late February, one of the group's head honchos reportedly said Cheng could replace popular singer and TVB actor Raymond Lam any time.

This led to talk that the company is too small for both Cheng and Lam to reign as king.

But Cheng told us: "Why not? There are many (talents) in TVB.

"Everyone has their place. If the (industry) is big enough and you get enough space to develop yourself, you can do your job and it won't affect others."

He is now collecting songs for his new album, which he will begin recording in the middle of the year, but he is uncertain if he will go into songwriting.

"Someone once heard a song I wrote and told me I should just stick to singing," said Cheng.

"So I'm still wondering if I should write music. Singing is a hobby to me, while acting is my rice bowl.

"It's very difficult to (sell) albums now. People download music (from the Internet); who buys albums?"

The latest news from China is that he earned HK$30 million (S$4.8 million) this year from filming three TV dramas in China and attending public events.

So it looks like Cheng need not be too worried even if his music career fails to takeoff.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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