A Hong Kong billionaire who offered a £78m dowry to any man who married his lesbian daughter has withdrawn his offer, a day after she published an emotional open letter to him asking him to stop.

Gigi Chao published the letter in a local newspaper yesterday, pleading with her father to accept her relationship with her female partner of nine years, and to “just not be so terrified” of them.

He first made the offer a year and a half ago, but in a CNN interview today revealed that she has finally convinced him to take it off the table.

He said: “If Gigi’s said that this is what she chooses, then it’s all over. [The money] stays in my pocket.

“I can’t say I am happy with her choice, but if this is what she wants, then I respect her choice.

“I hope you or the other press are not going to talk about it anymore.”

Gigi wrote in the letter to her father yesterday: “I know it’s difficult for you to understand how I could feel romantically attracted to a woman; I suppose I can’t really explain it either. It just happens, peacefully and gently, and after so many years, we still love each other very much.

“I understand it is difficult for you to understand, let alone accept this truth. There are plenty of good men, they are just not for me.”

Gigi received a deluge of would-be male suitors, and said that she had received a “vomit-making” number of photographs of potential suitors, some not fully clothed.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, she joked she’s “actually a pretty boring person” away from the media attention, but said “I am proud of who I am, and I am happy to stand for what and who I am.”