Monday, 12 September 2011

Inspiration Turns into Revulsion

Li Yang leads the masses in a very oral English lesson
Li Yang (李阳) is considered to be a guru for many people in China who want to learn English.

However the 42-year-old has unconventional methods, which include groups of people shouting out English phrases and sentences in union as loudly as they can to help them overcome their shyness in speaking English.

His brand of teaching called "Crazy English" started in 1994 and according to news reports over 20 million people have signed up for his classes.

However it has come to light that while Li might be inspiring millions of people to learn English, he has also been outed as a wife beater.

Li apologized on his microblog Sunday which also happened to be Teachers' Day in China after his American wife Kim Lee posted pictures of her injuries and comments alleging domestic abuse.

"I wholeheartedly apologize to my wife Kim and my girls for committing domestic violence," he wrote. "This has caused them serious physical and mental damage. Based on Kim's request, we are currently seeking professional counselling. I would like to offer my deepest apology here. Sorry to let you down."

The confession came after Lee posted a picture of her bruised forehead on August 31. The next day she posted another picture of a bruised knee and titled the entry "Love China, love yourself, do not use violence toward me in front of our child".

Two days later she posted yet another picture of an egg-sized lump on her forehead with a comment: "It would be easier if love had just disappeared the minute that your hand struck my face, but it did not. Seeing that you were having make-up applied for a TV appearance while I was in hospital hurts more than your slamming my head on the floor." She added he only stopped after one of the daughters intervened.

In the days following she posted more comments and pictures of injuries that dated back 12 years ago. Lee even said she would have to divorce Li for the sake of their children.

But after Li publicly apologized, Lee wrote this entry: "LY [Li Yang] faced police charges, admitted the truth, accepted responsibility and asked forgiveness. With courage, love and faith in God, we will sort out the rest. My family needs to heal. Everlasting thanks for all support, understanding and love".

It'll be interesting to see how well Li's reputation stands up to the scandal as he makes millions of yuan from his school and special appearances.

Perhaps his defense, though weak could be, "Do as I say, not do as I do."

But if the allegations really are true, it's a good first step to admit fault.

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