The Baccarat cover shoot is a wrap and Gigi Leung is in a playful mood. Having changed into a lilac shift dress with a beige scarf wrapped tightly around her shoulders, she kicks her long legs back and forth as we chat. Her hairstylist fusses over her – it’s already five in the afternoon but she has another shoot to prepare for. The actress-singer, shining in Cartier jewels in our pictures, tells us that she has just returned from Charlie Young’s wedding. At the party, held in the W Singapore hotel the previous week, Leung was mistress of ceremony and presented her fellow actress and longtime friend with a porcelain angel doll as a wedding gift.
Did it perhaps remind Leung of her own nuptials, which had taken place in Ibiza, Spain two years ago? “Ours was on a beach, so it was cozier,” recounts the 37-year-old, five-foot-eight-and-a-half-inch star. “It [being at Young’s wedding] dug up quite a lot of memories. All in all, a very touching affair.” She breaks into a wide grin.
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Leung is now Mrs Sergio Crespo Gutes, having met and been wooed by a handsome Spaniard during a vacation in Barcelona in 2011. She had just wrapped up her ‘Hong Kong G Night’ concert and had two weeks to spare before her next project. “I didn’t know anyone in Spain, so I had a friend connect me with someone on Facebook. This person invited me out for the evening to a happening bar and he [Crespo] was there, a friend of another friend of this woman. It was totally by chance that we met. We just clicked, and talked together for two hours,” she reminisces.
Crespo – the “love of my life” as she sweetly refers to her now husband – volunteered to show her around Barcelona. The two reveled in Spain’s rich historical remains, vibrant nightlife and most of all each other’s company. By the end of Leung’s one-week sojourn, they were in love. “If it wasn’t love at first sight, it was definitely love at second sight!” she jokes.
"In opening up my heart to Sergio, I've also opened up my heart to everyone and everything around me."
But alas, all good things come to an end, and the lovebirds parted at the airport with Crespo’s – in hindsight – auspicious message, “Don’t give up on me.” True to his word, Leung would return to Spain four times that year and Crespo proposed three months after their first encounter. “He was so sweet. He kept saying that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. It’s something that a lot of guys say, but he was one of those rare breeds who followed it up with action.”
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The proposal itself had a certain fairytale ring to it. Leung was led to a palace blindfolded, and before she had time to take in the Roman statues her beau had gone down on one knee. “Everything happened so fast! Obviously I had my reservations, with us living pretty much on the opposite ends of the world and all, but he gave me a lot of faith.”
In fact, marriage was the last thing on her mind before meeting Crespo. Her parents’ divorce when she was young had inevitably left an emotional scar. “I didn’t have much faith in marriage,” she says. “As long as two people love each other, I don’t think they need necessarily to get married to be happy.”