The English-language release of Jackie Chan’s memoir, Never Grow Up, is about to be released, and excerpts from the autobiography feature the Hong Kong-born action star confessing to some shockingly unsavoury behaviour, admitting he was “a total jerk” to his wife and family.
In an excerpt obtained by the Daily Mail, the 64-year-old “Rush Hour” star admits to an array of awful behaviour, ranging from cheating on his wife to once throwing his toddler son across the room in a fit of rage.
Recalling his pre-fame days, Chan admits to being a poor, uncultured young man who would gamble away his paycheques — and spend what was left over on booze and hookers.
Looking back on his early relationship with Taiwanese actress Teresa Teng, he admits his sense of inadequacy manifested itself by treating her terribly. “I behaved so badly because of my deep insecurities,” Chan writes. “Ever since I was a little boy I’d been looked down on by rich kids. Any whiff of snobbishness or superiority set me on edge. This attitude reflected by relationship with Teresa. But it wasn’t her fault. She’d done nothing wrong and I’d been horribly unfair to her.”
When Chan married actress Joan Lin in 1981, his treatment toward her was no better — which he illustrates by opening up about fathering a child with another woman during his marriage.
“In 1999, I made a serious mistake,” he writes in an excerpt obtained by the South China Morning Post. “When the news broke about an affair I’d had that resulted in a child, the media frenzy was like a bomb going off… I wanted to phone Joan but I didn’t know what to say. I wouldn’t be able to explain this.”
Looking back, he now sees that he “was selfish and didn’t know how to empathize with others. I was also too easily influenced,” he explains. “Yet Joan set me free to make my own way. I respect her a lot and am grateful to her for sacrificing so much for me.”
Chan also chronicles his heavy drinking. “All day I’d drink and drive, in the morning bashing a Porsche, in the evening bashing a Mercedes,” he writes. “Every day I was in this dizzied state.”
In addition, he admits he was not exactly the greatest father. “When [my son Jaycee] was still young, I hit him once, and was very heavy-handed — directly lifting him and throwing him onto the sofa. That time I really scared him and his mother to death, and I myself was very regretful,” he writes.
“I’ve done well by a lot of people but not my own family,” he admits. “I’ve not been a good father or a good husband but I did my duty to my son and his mother.”
The English-language edition of Jackie Chan’s Never Grow Up will be released on Tuesday, Dec. 4.