Sunday, 21 February 2010

Wife ‘shared’ hubby with Nina Wang for 15 years


Hong Kong: Madam Tam Miu Ching spent 15 years looking the other way while her husband had an affair with another woman.

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Guanyu 道 said...

Wife ‘shared’ hubby with Nina Wang for 15 years

By Teh Su Ching, For The Sunday Times
21 February 2010

Hong Kong: Madam Tam Miu Ching spent 15 years looking the other way while her husband had an affair with another woman.

Madam Tam is the wife of Mr. Tony Chan, the man who hopes to cash in on the billions belonging to his lover, tycoon Nina Wang, who was 69 when she died in 2007.

Even so, courtroom testimony about his affair with Ms. Wang, filled with bizarre fengshui rituals, revealed that Madam Tam apparently was not comfortable about sharing her husband with another woman.

In a 300-page judgment on Mr. Chan’s inheritance battle with Ms. Wang’s charitable foundation, High Court judge Johnson Lam said he sensed ‘resentment and anger’ in Madam Tam’s testimony about her husband’s infidelity.

He added: ‘I fail to understand how (Madam Tam) could tolerate the clandestine affair.’

The judge threw out Mr. Chan’s claim to Ms. Wang’s estate, estimated to be worth as much as US$13 billion (S$18 billion).

The ruling followed a sensational nine-month legal tussle. The judge concluded that the 2006 will, in which Mr. Chan claims Ms. Wang signed her entire fortune to him, was forged, and that he and his wife had lied in their testimony.

The couple have been questioned by police on suspicion of fraud, even as Mr. Chan prepares to appeal against the decision.

By now, Hong Kongers have become familiar with the rags-to-riches story of Mr. Chan. Yet little is known about Madam Tam, who is said to be in her 40s.

She is reportedly the daughter of a middle-class businessman. Her parents paid for the council apartment, a type of public housing, that she and Mr. Chan lived in before they were married.

The court heard that the couple named their first-born son Wealthee, after the apartment complex her husband moved her into in 1993 - a year after he and Ms. Wang became lovers.

It also emerged that Madam Tam’s sister, Maggie, had sold her portion of shares in Mr. Chan’s company, RCG Holdings, to Ms. Wang at a profit of S$79,000 in 2007, shortly before the tycoon’s death that same year.

Madam Tam herself owns about 25 per cent of RCG holdings.

When cross-examined at the hearing about the source of her husband’s sudden wealth, Madam Tam responded: ‘I didn’t care.’

Mr. Chan, 50, worked as a bartender and machinery salesman before becoming a fengshui practitioner and fortune teller.

His high-profile clientele included Macau’s last Portuguese governor Vasco Joaquim Rocha Vieira and Hong Kong lawmaker Abraham Shek. But Ms. Wang was his biggest client.

Mr. Chan had asked a well-connected acquaintance to introduce him to Ms. Wang in 1992. The businesswoman then sought Mr. Chan’s help to find her husband Teddy, who had been kidnapped in 1990.

Mr. Chan quickly got sexually involved with Ms. Wang. He brought home hundreds of thousands of dollars after each ‘fengshui consultation session’ with the property mogul.

He and his wife now live in a mansion on Hong Kong Island’s Victoria Peak, a world apart from their erstwhile home in a flat in the New Territories.

She testified that he introduced Ms. Wang to her as his ‘goddaughter’, even though he was 20 years younger than the tycoon. The older woman then referred to Madam Tam as ‘godmother’.

Madam Tam also did not object when her husband arranged for their third child to be born by caesarean section on Ms. Wang’s birthday. The couple had three children - Wealthee, Xenia and Yannis - between 1993 and 1998, even while he was having the affair.

The affair was a bitter pill for Madam Tam.

An unnamed source who travelled to Japan on Mr. Chan’s private jet - which he has since sold, presumably to pay his legal fees - with the couple said Madam Tam appeared hostile to Mr. Chan throughout the trip.

‘He kept trying to talk to her but she ignored him the whole time,’ said the source.

Guanyu 道 said...

When Mr. Chan received calls on his mobile phone from Ms. Wang, he reportedly ducked into another room so that his wife would not hear the conversation.

The judge and many others have speculated that Madam Tam corroborated her husband’s claim to Ms. Wang’s estate to maintain the privileged lifestyle the family enjoys.

She was frequently photographed carrying Gucci and Louis Vuitton handbags during the trial.

But her son may have other ideas. The Standard newspaper reported that Wealthee, who turns 17 this year, wants to change his name.