Julie Chen family kidnapping murder was probably one of the most horrific revelations the Big Brother host has done on national television. But she said it taught her “something very valuable” when dealing with tragedy.
Chen opened up on The Talk on Thursday about her maternal great-grandmother and aunt being kidnapped then eventually killed.
Chen explained that her grandfather worked hard to become the most successful businessman in Burma. Thus, he was an easy target for big money. She said, “The bandits said they would kill them if a large ransom wasn’t paid.”
So Chen’s grandfather agreed to pay the ransom amount. He gave all the ransom money to her uncle who was supposed to hand it over to the bandits. Tragically, the uncle “double-crossed” Chen’s grandfather. He “disappeared into the night with the money.”
Because of that, her great-grandmother was murdered. But this horrific experience even inspired Chen’s grandfather to do something extraordinary for the community he lives in.
Chen recalls, “He built a school, hoping that people don’t feel like they have to live a life of crime. He said if everyone was afforded an education then they have the tools to learn how to survive on their own.”
Years passed and Chen was on an episode of TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are?. In here, she traveled back to her grandfather’s school. She said that after speaking with everyone, she felt the sense of gratitude. Everyone told her the school transformed their entire neighborhood. So what her grandfather did was really important.
Chen shared further how her grandpa’s act of kindness renewed her own perspective in life. She said, “I personally learned something very valuable. When you’re faced with something so tragic you can either choose the darkness, or you can choose the light.”