HONG KONG, Nov 28 (AP) -- Action star Jet Li says he married his first wife out of a sense of obligation, and didn't develop a healthy loving relationship until he met his current wife, actress Nina Li.
"In terms of how much emotion each person devoted, she maybe gave 90 percent or 80 percent. At most I gave ... I still haven't figured out," Li said of his first wife in an upcoming episode of "Life of Art," a Chinese state television program.
A clip from the show, reportedly taped Sunday, was posted on the Chinese news Web site Sina.com.
The 42-year-old Li did not directly name his ex-wife, but Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper, which carried the Sina.com report Monday, identified her as Huang Qiuyan.
Li said he began dating his first wife, a classmate two years his elder, because she took good care of him.
"My family was poor. Her family was well-off. She often took care of me. That's how it happened. I didn't know what love was," he said.
After becoming a star in the 1970s movie "Shaolin Temple," which he made when he was 16 or 17, Li said he arranged for her to star in the 1983 sequel to "Shaolin Temple," "Shaolin Temple 2: Kids from Shaolin," also out of a sense of loyalty.
"When she became the female lead, I felt psychologically assured. I felt, 'I have done my duty," Li said.
The couple continued dating until they finally married in 1997, only to divorce two years later.
Li said there was a mutual understanding that the relationship didn't work out.
"When we parted, we were really like friends," he said.
It wasn't clear when Li began dating Nina Li, though Apple Daily said Monday they were romantically linked when they worked together on "The Defector" in 1989.
The couple married in September 1999 and they have two daughters.
Li said he has continued to support the two daughters he had with his ex-wife. He said she remarried last week, and that he gave her US$50,000 (€42,747) to buy a car as a wedding gift.
Li said he has found a true love in Nina Li.
"You realize, 'I put myself out there. I can give up my fame and success, give up my status, give up my money. I'm even willing to die for her.' You realize this is love," he said.
After making his name in Hong Kong, Li moved on to Hollywood, where he has appeared in movies like "Lethal Weapon 4" and "Romeo Must Die."