Former erotic movie actress working at MacDonald's
CHANGE: Ms Cheng Yim Lai, 42, a former erotic movie actress who is currently working in a McDonald's. (Below) Ms Cheng in her prime.
PHOTOS: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS
She once starred in erotic movies
Now Ms Cheng Yim Lai, 42, is working hard to make ends meet.
She was spotted earlier this week selling burgers at a McDonald's outlet in Hong Kong.
The person who made the discovery is a reporter from Next, a Hong Kong weekly news magazine.
The report said that Ms Cheng earns about HK$32 (S$5.30) an hour, with her monthly income about HK$10,000.
It is not known how many days a week she works there.
She works the night shift, finishing at 7am.
There was a time when she was seen only in designer clothes, but now she does not even bother to change out of her uniform after work.
After the shift, she took off her hat, put on a windbreaker and hopped on to a public bus to go home, the report said.
When the reporter approached her, Ms Cheng kept her head down and tried to get away from the scene in an attempt to escape the questions.
The reporter asked Ms Cheng if her current state was due to marital problems, but her reply was a curt, "I have nothing to say."
The reporter persisted, asking why she chose to live this way, but she kept her head down. She insisted that her life "is normal". She refused to comment any further.
The report said that she looked a pale shadow of her former self, having put on weight.
She also had grey hair. But the reporter noticed that she had a good work attitude.
When her colleagues took supper breaks, she was seen picking up a cloth and cleaning the tables. She was even heard saying, "I'm losing weight!"
Next Magazine reported, quoting sources, that she recently opened a private eatery in Taiwan, but was forced to close it in a year.
The report also claimed she split with her boyfriend, causing her to lose even more money.
That was when her connections within the entertainment industry were cut off completely.
Ms Cheng tiptoed into stardom when she won a radio competition in 1988. She made her first TV appearance alongside Hong Kong movie star Tony Leung, in the 1989 TV show Hap Hak Hang.
In 2000, she caught the eye of Taiwanese millionaire Wong Ren Zhong, who is believed to have helped her set up a nightclub and a food outlet.
Soon after that, she began acting in Hong Kong erotic movies.
It is not clear how many movies she acted in.
Her last public appearance was in the Hong Kong comedy film 72 Tenants of Prosperity in 2010, in which she was a guest star, Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported.
News, The New Paper, Friday, January 24 2014, Pg 12