Taiwan director Ang Lee’s friends downplay sleeping problems

Lee does not suffer from sleep apnea: associate

(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee (李安) has sought advice in Taiwan for his sleeping problems, but the condition is not as bad as reported by some media, reports said Wednesday.

The “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” director had suffered from hair loss, sore eyes and sleepless nights, causing him to visit Taiwan in secret last February to seek treatment for sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening disease because of sudden pauses in breathing during sleep, Chinese-language Next Magazine reported.

However, associates and relatives of Lee, 62, denied he had the condition, though they said he had been working years non-stop, with difficult sleep as one of the elements.

His close associate David Lee (李良山), who is not a relative, said the director had returned to Taiwan last February to visit his mother and accepted the advice to visit a doctor to consult him about his sleeping problems.

Pressure on moviemakers was such that they often had trouble sleeping, but it did not go as far as sleep apnea, the prominent director’s associate said.

Last year, Lee traveled around the world to promote his movie “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” which meant he was less able to sleep, but since returning to the United States after the end of the tour, his condition had improved, David Lee said.

Neither the director’s brother, Khan Lee (李崗), who is also a filmmaker, nor his son, the actor Mason Lee (李淳), said they knew anything about health problems.