They played a couple in Taiwanese TV serial Great Times (2018 to 2019) – and continued playing the roles in private.

On Thursday (Oct 3), actor Mars Ma and actress Hitomi Wang apologised for having an affair while Ma’s wife, fashion designer Leong Man Teng, is seeking NT$4 million (S$180,000) in damages from Wang.

Adultery is an offence in Taiwan. A married person found guilty of committing adultery could be jailed for up to one year.

Ma, 37, and Wang, 33, who is known for shows like Night Market Life (2009 to 2011), had earlier denied that they were in a relationship even after the Taiwanese media reported that they were seen hanging out together.

Ma’s wife, Leong, had first made a veiled accusation against Wang in June, naming a “Miss Wang” as the third party in her marriage in a Facebook post.

Ma and Leong have been married for three years and have a pair of twin boys.

In a twist from the usual drama scenarios where the wife confronts the mistress, the relatives of the mistress went to confront Ma’s wife instead. On Wednesday, Leong alleged on social media that she has been “harassed” at home. The media reported that Wang’s mother and aunt went to speak to the married couple.

In videos uploaded on Leong’s social media accounts, Wang’s aunt is seen scolding Ma for being irresponsible and accusing Leong of being responsible for his infidelity.

A day later, Ma and Wang held a press conference to apologise for their indiscretions. She said she has not met Ma in private since filming for Great Times ended in September.

Wang also said that she had offered to apologise to Leong in person but was turned down.

Ma, meanwhile, said that he was unaware of his wife’s lawsuit until he was told by his agency before the press conference.

“I didn’t control my feelings while filming, and didn’t draw the boundaries between reel and real life. These are my own personal problems,” he said.

Given all the drama, Ma and Wang have been told to take a break from acting for now.