Cover Christine Chiu photographed in Los Angeles by Carter Smith

Christine Chiu, star and producer of Netflix’s hit series Bling Empire tells us what her in-laws thought of the show, how she almost made it onto The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and her fondest fashion week memory so far

When Tatler spoke to Christine Chiu from Netflix’s hit Bling Empire for the June issue, it was nearly impossible to squeeze all the juicy details into the magazine. Here are 11 new things we discovered about the reality TV star that didn’t all make the cut in print.

Related: 'Bling Empire' Star Christine Chiu On The Netflix Hit And The Importance Of Asian Representation

1. On the importance of speaking out about her fertility issues:

“I was compelled to share the struggles and triumphs of my fertility journey, which were compounded with very traditional Asian expectations and pressures. I hoped that by opening up about the otherwise taboo topic, it would encourage dialogue and specifically, ignite encouragement, empathy and support for those struggling. I hoped that my struggles and eventual success would bring comfort to those currently undergoing treatment.”

2. On her relationship with her conservative in-laws:

“I would like to make a formal apology to my in-laws for my inadvertently dragging them into this global series without their consent. While I was considered the black sheep of the family for not ‘carrying my weight’ and providing a male heir prior to my son [Gabriel Christian Chiu III, known as “Baby G” by the family], I have not been treated poorly since his birth. I may not agree with their expectations and would not impose those on Baby G’s future wife, but I do understand that there were centuries and generations of pressure that was then transferred onto me. I often wonder if my mother-in-law experienced similar treatment when she married my father-in-law. I respect their familial and cultural traditions, and by marrying into the Chiu family, I implicitly agreed to comply to the best of my abilities. Regardless, I am hoping and praying that their Netflix account is somehow deactivated and malfunctioning. I have worked hard for over a decade to earn their trust and acceptance, and I hope that they are able to see that I’ve come from a good place, that I do love and respect their son [husband, Dr. Gabriel Chiu], and that I am—regardless of our troubled history together—very proud to be part of their family.”

3. On her relationship with her own family now:

“The pandemic and my mother’s passing have reinforced the importance of family and spending time with those you care about. Life is so short and precious, and each minute could be our last. I have always tried to live a purpose-driven life, but the recent realisation of how fragile our time on earth can be has empowered me to reprioritise. I have a heightened sense of responsibility as a mom, wife, businesswoman, community advocate, neighbour and citizen of the world to impact people and this world more positively. I have lost touch with most of my family resulting from the estrangement with my father, but I hope that might change in the near future. At the very least, I would want a family community for my son. I want him to have healthy loving relationships with his cousins, aunts and uncles regardless of my personal grievances and family history.”

4. On her favourite moments from the show:

“Unfortunately, my favourite moments of the show did not air. These were moments spent with Baby G and Dr. Chiu in various activities like baby chef auditioning, sign language and French classes, which were so fun and special.” 

5. On how Bling Empire differs from other reality shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians:

“While docuseries on network television have been around for quite some time and are very successful in their own right, I am proud to be a part of a project that possesses so many different concurrent objectives. With Bling Empire, the bling is the sidekick to real-life problems. The drama is catty, but entertainingly harmless and above-belt. The cinematography is the most beautiful form of aesthetic escapism from Covid-19 woes, while the journeys and stories shared is an emotional escape from the harsh realities of the pandemic. Drama occurred sans table flipping, wig snatching and accusations against castmates’ family or children, which are all the traditional recipe for successful network TV docuseries. Bling Empire brought viewers through a rollercoaster of emotions with no shortage of entertaining drama and shock. What is unique is that each of the castmates, me included, stripped down to our most authentic and raw state to share truly personal stories and struggles.”

6. On dealing with being called the villain of the show:

“I did receive endless calls, texts and emails from close friends and family members who were in shock about my character on the show. “This is not you!” they would proclaim or, “how could they show you like that?” My friends and family had to defend me to people they know and strangers too, stating that it’s not an accurate portrayal of who I really am. In the end, I try to keep it all in perspective and remember that characters in any show play off each other, and we succeeded by crafting a light-hearted—but also heavily debated—rivalry between a heroine and an antiheroine.”

Related: "Bling Empire"'s Top 5 Most Outrageous Moments

7. On almost being cast as on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills:

“I was part of the original casting for season one, but wasn’t selected largely due to my age. I was in my mid-twenties and the rest of the ladies were in their late thirties to fifties. For seasons two and three, I was under contract for another show in development with [producer] Jeff Jenkins, but by season four, I was offered a role. As we began filming, there was a death in the family and it wasn’t appropriate for me to participate during a time of mourning. Fortunately, the execs at Evolution Media and NBC Universal were extremely understanding.”

8. On her favourite haute couture item:

“One of my favourite pieces of haute couture is my last interview look on Bling Empire. It is a Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda dress that was previously on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and displayed in the Heavenly Bodies exhibition in 2018.”

Relates: 'Bling Empire': 6 Outfits To Recreate From Netflix’s Hit Show

9. On her favourite fashion week memory:

"The most fun fashion show I’ve ever attended has to be the Chanel Fall 2014 show. The clients and guests had Chanel grocery carts and baskets and after the show, we all ‘shopped’ for Chanel cheese, coffee, wine, pasta, and candy. It was hilarious watching all the exceptionally dressed guests in head-to-toe Chanel racing down the aisles fighting for Chanel canned beans and soup. Best day ever!”

10. On her most prized possessions:

“My mother’s photos, belongings, and specifically, her journal. My mother kept a meticulous journal with her thoughts, dreams and even grocery shopping lists. With each day that she has been gone, I attempt to learn more about her through her diary. I feel more connected to her than ever thanks to having this opportunity to dive into her mind and heart.”

11. On what viewers can expect from season two:

“For the first season, I hope viewers were not only entertained by the glitz and glamour, race cars, fancy clothes and lavish parties, but also resonated with the intimate stories and journeys the cast shared. While season one only peered into one layer and facet of my life, I hope viewers will be able to see all the other aspects in the second season, such as motherhood, friendships, businesses, adventures, special projects, philanthropy and more. Expect the unexpected: what you see is not always what you get. Just when you think you know the cast, you may be in for a shock or treat.”

Related: Bling Empire Season 2 Has Been Confirmed: Here's Everything We Know So Far

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