Celebrity-surgeons and power couple Dra. Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho opened up about the trying times they had to endure that involved them in one of the most controversial scandals of all time in the Philippine entertainment circuit 13 years ago.
In Toni Gonzaga‘s vlog Toni Talks, the couple talked about the healing process they went through after the scandal that tried to destroy their relationship.
Hayden admitted that someone tried to blackmail him into releasing the scandal unless he will give them money.
“We already broke up because of issues. And [in] 2008, dun ako naka-receive ng extortion messages. ‘You give us this much otherwise we will release these videos.’
“The guy released it on my birthday, May 20. Then every week naglalabas sila ng ibang video,” said the cosmetic surgeon.”
Dra. Belo opened up that it was in December of 2008 when she found out about her husband’s infidelity. It was the reason why they broke up.
“Nalaman ko everything in December 2008. So December I found out, we broke up [in] January, February. We were apart four months,” she said.
And with the videos released, Dr. Kho was in so much trouble. He shared that he felt ashamed and fearful toward his relationship with Dra. Belo.
“Walang words to describe eh. It’s a mixture of emotions.
“Definitely, there’s a lot of humiliation. There’s a lot of fear, and there’s a feeling of desperation na ‘what I’m gonna do to fix this’. Nag-roller-coaster ‘yung emotions. But no positive, lahat negative. When your dark life is exposed to the light, nakakatakot talaga,” he shared.
Despite what he has done to his now-wife, she was there to help him get back to his feet.
“Kung ako lang on my own, I won’t be able to survive. I think my family, Vicki. Interestingly, s’ya yung na-offend ko, sya pa yung ka-help ko dun,” Dr. Kho revealed in humility.
The night that Dra. Belo found out about the scandal–her now-husband tried to kill himself. Although she had suspicion regarding Hayden’s cheating, she trusted him. But when she saw the videos, that’s where the doctor decided to break up with him.
“December 9-10, he tried to kill himself that night. Kasi the friends told me about what’s going on. I have suspected him about one girl because people were telling me. But I confronted him, telling me it was not true. I guess I don’t want to believe or something. But I really have a hard time believing people lie to me. So I believed him. But when I saw the videos it was all there already,” she shared.
“So that same evening already, he decided to kill himself.”
Of all the things he went through–he realized that it was God’s way to wake him up and remove him from the dangerous path that he had ventured.
“Looking back, now I realize na it’s very true. Na sometimes God allows you to go through shameful things. Because that’s actually grace and mercy na yun na lang ang papa-experience sa’yo just to wake you up,” he added.
Through God’s grace, he was able to heal and contemplate–dropped any suicidal thoughts.
“To me, yung nangyari although it was more shameful, it was already the mercy of God in order to wake me up. Pinaka-moment that I felt alive again. Because I was really dead. Parang may spirit was already dead,” he said.
The celebrity doctor recalled how the Senate probed in his emotions where he admitted that he was hopeless. He lost everything when the scandal broke out.
“Parang I remember, I think it was the Senate hearing mismo nung tinanong ako kung anong feeling. And I said hopelessness,” the doctor continued.
He came to realize his situation is probably the same as the others who got tempted to commit suicide. All of them shared the same feeling—loneliness and hopelessness. But according to him, these feelings were not true. Like in his case, he felt he was alone, but Dra. Belo was by his side.
“‘Coz really I think most people who commit suicide or who are in that path, yung feeling nila ay yung isolation saka yung hopelessness na wala na which is not true,” he said.
Like God, humans are also capable of forgiving, no matter how big the mistake is. Dra. Belo believed that Dr. Kho is a ‘good’ person. However, she also understood that he had a traumatic experience during childhood where he got molested.
“Because I can see, I was very sure na Hayden is very kind. But I also know na he was molested by a big guy when he was eight years old. And that part of him, but I really molded everything that went after that. Ang nangyari parang in his mind alam ko he felt so dirty. Parang I know this guy is capable of so much, he’s such a good person. Kaya when he got the wrong brakes when he was young and he couldn’t control it,” Dra. Belo said.
Dra. Belo also knew that her now-husband is capable of suicide. Nevertheless, she guided him until God came into his life.
“I know he’s capable of suicide. I knew God would help him.”
During the time where Dr. Kho did not believe in God, Dra. Belo, despite being cheated and humiliated, stood by his side. She knew that she is not capable of making him change, she tried.
When God came, she decided to let go. That’s where he changed.
“But until that time, nag-aalalay lang ako. I know naman na I couldn’t, I tried my best. You know people think they can change people by doing things, you have to realize you can’t do anything.
“Nothing worked until God came [into] his life. And then I let go, and he totally changed,” shared Dra. Belo.
The forgiveness Dra. Belo gave her husband, they were able to heal. Trusting God’s process, Dr. Kho realized that the Creator used his wife to guide him to the right path. That is why his wedding ceremony with Dra. Belo was not just a memory–it was God’s gift to him.
“Kumbaga you are the instrument. That’s why I cherish and treasure our marriage so much. Kasi it’s not just a ceremony. The lavish and grand, hindi yun pinaka-importante eh. The whole idea that I married that God sent me, the person who changed me, and who keeps on changing me by her love. That to me is the very gift. That is why we have a small family now with Scarlet. I really really treasure and cherish that,” Dr. Kho shared.
Now that they have a family, Dr. Kho shared how deep the meaning of their daughter’s name is. For him, his daughter is his constant reminder that God has transformed him into a better person.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
“If you think about it, that’s also the reason why we gave Scarlet the name Scarlet Snow because that was actually a verse. So whenever I look at Scarlet, I will always remember that my life before, my sin before, was as red as Scarlet. Because of God’s transforming love, it’s now as white as snow.”