We’ve heard of celebrities who fall in love on set and eventually start dating or even get married. Actor Mars Ma and actress Hitomi Wang, who played a couple in Taiwanese TV serial Great Times (2018 to 2019), also met and fell in love on set—but they were, in fact, having an affair.

Mars is married to fashion designer Leong Man Teng, who is seeking NT$4 million (S$180,000) in damages from Hitomi.

On Thursday (Oct 3), Mars and Hitomi apologised for having an affair.

Adultery is an offence in Taiwan. A married person found guilty of committing adultery could be jailed for up to one year.

Mars, 37, and Hitomi, 33, who is known for shows like Night Market Life (2009 to 2011), had earlier denied that they were in a relationship even after the Taiwanese media reported that they were seen hanging out together.

Mars’ wife, Man Teng, had first made a veiled accusation against Hitomi in June, naming a “Miss Wang” as the third party in her marriage in a Facebook post.

Mars and Man Teng have been married for three years and have a pair of twin boys.

In a twist from the usual drama scenarios where the wife confronts the mistress, the relatives of the mistress went to confront Ma’s wife instead. On Wednesday, Man Teng alleged on social media that she has been “harassed” at home. The media reported that Hitomi’s mother and aunt went to speak to the married couple.

In videos uploaded on Man Teng’s social media accounts, Hitomi’s aunt is seen scolding Mars for being irresponsible and accusing Man Teng of being responsible for his infidelity.

A day later, Mars and Hitomi held a press conference to apologise for their indiscretions. She said she has not met Mars in private since filming for Great Times ended in September.

Hitomi also said that she had offered to apologise to Man Teng in person but was turned down.

Mars, meanwhile, said that he was unaware of his wife’s lawsuit until he was told by his agency before the press conference.

“I didn’t control my feelings while filming, and didn’t draw the boundaries between reel and real life. These are my own personal problems,” he said.

Given all the drama, Mars and Hitomi have been told to take a break from acting for now.

Image: Hitomi Wang’s Instagram
Text: Lim Ruey Yan / The Straits Times / October 2019