Paolo Contis

If he could have it his way, Paolo Contis said he would rather be talked about for the quality of his work as an actor, rather than the issues related to his personal life.

“To be honest, as an actor, of course I prefer if I trend [online]—or get bashed—because of my acting. Artista ako, eh. And as such, we should be judged by our profession,” he said in a recent virtual conference for the upcoming primetime soap “I Left My Heart in Sorsogon,” which will air weekdays on GMA 7 starting Nov. 15.

“If as an artist, my acting is delivered poorly, then that’s when I get judged. If I do well, then good,” he added.

For the past couple of weeks, the controversial celebrity’s romantic relationships have become fodder for online gossip, after his partner of five years, LJ Reyes, confirmed their breakup and alluded to infidelity as one of the reasons that had caused it.

Paolo also found himself in hot water after he was spotted strolling around Baguio City, arms intertwined with his “A Faraway Land” costar—and alleged new lover—Yen Santos. He has since denied the rumor and insisted he and the actress are nothing more than friends.

LJ interview

In her second and latest interview in Boy Abunda’s YouTube program, LJ, who’s indefinitely staying in New York City with her kids, Aki (with Paulo Avelino) and Summer (with Contis), revealed that Paolo has yet to reach out to them since the controversy blew up.

LJ was hopeful, however, that she could someday find the strength to forgive Paolo.

“It’s a work in progress. I’m praying that I may be able to forgive, because if I don’t, this very dark emotion would just eat me up and I won’t be able to move on with the kids… Of course, there’s pain… but I have to set aside the negative emotions, which is difficult,” said the actress, who’s still unsure when she’ll return to show biz.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” added LJ, who’s taking things one day at a time. “It’s OK to take your time. It’s OK to give time to yourself to heal and figure things out.”

The actor with former partner LJ Reyes and kids Aki and Summer during happier times

Paolo didn’t really address his issues with LJ directly or in detail because the discussion was kept mostly about his role in “I Left My Heart,” which also features Heart Evangelista and Richard Yap. He was, however, asked if he was enjoying all the attention he’s been getting as of late.

He wasn’t. But he acknowledges that it comes with the territory.

Return to Instagram

“I wouldn’t say I enjoy it. Naninibago ako, because every little move you make gets magnified. Do I enjoy it? No. But do I accept it? Yes. I know it’s part of the job, but of course, it’d be better if you’re getting noticed for your job,” he said.

Paolo also recently returned to Instagram, two months after he issued a statement where he admitted to being “marupok” and apologized to the people he had wronged.

Paolo recreates pose of his sculpture lookalike

In his latest post, Paolo reposted a viral photo comparing his face to that of a sculpture that caught the interest of BTS member J-Hope. Once again, the actor found himself becoming a meme. But he doesn’t mind.

“Never naman ako naging pikon. Just look at what happened the past few weeks, never naman ako napikon,” he quipped.

“It was funny,” he said of the sculpture which is called “Mask II” and crafted by artist Ron Mueck. “I had seen it before, but it [went viral] recently because a BTS member posted it. But it’s amusing. At least it’s something funny, this time.” INQ

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