Michelle Yeoh on divorce from ex-husband Dickson Poon: 'It was a smart thing for me to do'


Michelle Yeoh, 61, recently appeared on an episode of Gwyneth Paltrow's podcast. Photo: Screengrab from Goop/YouTube

Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh has opened up about her divorce from Hong Kong magnate Dickson Poon.

In a recent episode of the Goop podcast with American actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Yeoh, 61, admitted to feeling upset about her inability to conceive children in her first marriage.

The Ipoh-born celebrity added that it was one of the main reasons for the divorce.

“We did whatever was necessary (to have children). Unfortunately, I was physically unable to,” she said.

Yeoh married Poon in 1988 and divorced in 1991.

Yeoh once shared in an interview with a magazine that she was “desperate” to have children and even tried in vitro fertilisation but to no avail.

She said in the podcast: “I knew my ex really wanted a big family ... not just one son, but two sons or three even better. He was working hard for a big empire and he needed sons to carry his lineage.”

Aside from her inability to conceive children, Yeoh said her inability to multitask back then also contributed to her stepping away from married life.

“I don’t know how women in our line of work juggle being pregnant, having a baby, going back to work ... I’m not a multitasker,” she said.

The Oscar winner continued: “With our work, we’re always travelling. If you’re filming outside of the country, maybe we’ll not see each other for a couple of months. When both parties (are working), it’s hard to find that balance.”

Although the divorce was “tough”, Yeoh believes she made the right decision.

“I think it was a smart thing for me to do ... to be able to step away and not pretend that it will work out. We did love each other but it doesn’t get better because there are expectations,” she said.

Yeoh also clarified that she and Poon are still good friends today.

“His eldest daughter is my first godchild. His first ex-wife and I will call each other and go on holidays together,” she said.

Presently, Yeoh said she feels blessed as many of her friends have chosen her to be the godmother of their children. The actress is currently a godmother of six.

Yeoh recently became a grandmother after her stepson Nicolas, whom she shares with her French husband Jean Todt, welcomed baby Maxime on New Year’s Day.

She got engaged to Todt, 77, in 2004. The couple tied the knot on July 27 last year in Geneva, Switzerland.

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