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English guru admits to spousal abuse
Global Times | September 13, 2011 02:54
By Li Mao
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Li Yang, guru of English education giant Crazy English, apologized and admitted he did beat his wife. Yang said he will move out of his home temporarily to avoid further conflict.

In an interview with the Beijing News Monday, Li said he has been a "negative example" and hoped his case would help accelerate China's legislation to prevent domestic violence.

He said that anger filled his heart when he saw that his wife, Kim Lee, exposed their family turmoil to the public. "She ruined my career and my image, which I have spent 20 years building," he told the Global Times Monday.

"But, I was afraid of saying something stupid that I would regret my whole life. So I chose to cool down and continue my work instead of facing it," he said.

Li finally broke a weeklong silence and wrote on his microblog Saturday, "I wholeheartedly apologize to my wife, Kim, and my girls for committing domestic violence. This has caused them serious physical and mental damage."

"Li Yang faced police charges, admitted the truth, accepted responsibility and asked for forgiveness. With courage, love and faith in God, we will sort out the rest," his wife, Kim Lee, responded on her Sina microblog.

Li admitted he has been absent in his family life.

"It is my personal flaw. For me, work is much more important than family. She has to take care of all the family matters. I realize that it was not fair for her," Li said, adding that Kim has been suffering from insomnia for a long time.

Li also apologized to his three children in a family meeting over the weekend. He encouraged his children to do what their mother did in the face of domestic violence.

Li's apology, posted on his microblog account, which has more than 600,000 fans, has been tweeted nearly 20,000 times a day.

"What he did really let me down. But, still, I am glad that he is brave enough to face up to it. I hope they will work out a good solution for their conflicts," a 21-year-old university student and fan of Li Yang surnamed Yu told the Global Times Monday.

Li's Crazy English company, founded in 2001, has 32 branches and 200 employees in major cities in China.
Its total value is 20 million yuan ($3 million), according to information shown on the Guangzhou City Administration of Industry and Commerce.

Besides the public apology, Li also promised Kim he would not use violence any more and will seek professional help on Saturday.

However, a day after Li apologized, he and Kim fought again. This time, he chose to leave his home to cool down instead of hitting her.

"The decision to continue our marriage or not will be made by her. I will respect whatever decision she makes," Li said.

The violence on August 31, however, was not the first incident in their 12-year marriage. It started when Kim complained about chores and accused him of neglecting the family, Li said.

Kim Lee, who married Li in 1999, called police after Li hit her on the head at their home in Beijing on August 31.

She also posted photos of her bruised knees, swollen forehead and bleeding ear as evidence to back up her accusation on a microblog last week.

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