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Hitched to sensationalism

In times when the fine line between publicity mongering by celebrities and morbid curiosity about personal lives of celebrities are crossed freely and frequently, egged on by the public relations and marketing industries, it is not surprising that celebrity weddings are a hot topic.

Toward the year-end, news and rumors, denials and denunciations flew thick and fast, and an eager media latched on to every word said and unsaid, blogged and tweeted.

One of the top stories was the rumor about the homosexual relationship between singer Dam Vinh Hung and his protégé, up-and-coming singer Duong Trieu Vu. Their "affair" made headlines, and dominated talk on forums and microblogs. Tongues were wagging to the dozen about Hung proposing and getting engaged to Vu during his third live show named "White Party" held on New Year's Eve.

Hung hit back hard through his personal blog, berating people for thinking he would do such a farcical thing in a show that broke his own record of most songs performed (60).

"I would never do such a thing to polish my career. What an imagination people have," he blogged.

For his part, Vu said that the rumor surfaced around the time Hung's show was held in Hanoi last December.

"Hung was absent from the (press) meeting, because he was stuck at an airport in Laos. A reporter asked whether Hung will propose to his partner at the show. She (the reporter) also emphasized that the news was about to be published.

"And then, out of the blue, the question came. Was I the partner? I was shocked. I wanted to give that person a piece of my mind, but I did not, for I do not want to ruin my brother's work. I just hope the press have their professional conscience and take responsibility for their words," he said.

Vu said that his "over-familiar relationship" with Hung, as the gossip bloggers described it, was based on his respect and admiration for his senior colleague. Vu is famous comedian Hoai Linh's brother, and Linh is one of Hung's best friends.

"Hung is a good man and a talented artist, and there are many things that I have learned from him. I do not care much about such talk. He is like my family," Vu said.

Low profile

While celebrities seek their fair share of publicity, they say they want to keep their private lives under wraps, especially when it comes to marriages.

Huong Giang, voted Miss Asia Grand Slam by beauty pageant website globalbeau ties. com, got hitched to a Chinese businessman last October. The public was kept in dark about their secret love and marriage until photos of Giang's romantic white wedding on the beach were published on e-tabloid

Le Quyen (L) is six-month pregnant under her wedding dress. Pop star Ho Ngoc Ha (R) also grabbed media attention last year when she suddenly got pregnant and had a son with wealthy playboy Nguyen Quoc Cuong, better known as Cuong "Do la" (Dollar)

But both Giang's secret wedding and that of first runner-up at the Miss Vietnam 2008 contest, Thuy Van, were forgotten when a rumor surfaced about television emcee Dan Le's divorce and possible remarriage.

Reports that the weather forecaster had married her ex-lover, director Khai Anh, within a month of her divorce, shocked the public.

But Dan Le rejected the stories.

"It is my personal life, and I have the right to keep it out of the public eye. But the more I keep calm, the more (the media) embellish (their stories). My divorce was fast because I have no children or common property with my ex-husband, and now I am free. What's wrong with finding a new partner," said Le.

Khai Anh had no comments to make, only that he is tired of phone calls and all the "fuss."

Noted dancer Linh Nga also grabbed attention when a secret wedding invitation was leaked last December. She calmly sidestepped all questions and left both the media and readers very curious.

Singer Le Quyen also caught the eye, clearly pregnant under her wedding dress on the first day of the New Year at the Melia Hotel in Hanoi. But just before the wedding, a rumor began doing the rounds that her fiancé, owner of noted the urban Khong Ten (Anonymous) cabaret, had a sixyear-old son.

"Please do not speculate. Let me be in peace with the happiness of being a wife and mom-to-be. I am my hubby's first wife," she said.