Sad family story behind HK$5.5b claim, court told
A billionaire patriarch whose son is fighting a HK$5.5 billion divorce claim told the court yesterday of his 'sad story' with his children.
The father, identified by the initials STL, told the Court of First Instance that he was heartbroken when his son LKKS and former daughter-in-law, TCWF, visited him for 'money, money, money' when he was bedridden and facing death in 2003.
STL, fourth generation of a wealthy family, said another son blackmailed him for HK$45 million in 2004, his daughter could not work because of mental illness and his relationship with another of his sons was 'another sad story'.
The court also heard of a long history of 'warring factions' among the father's generation that culminated in a lawsuit involving him, his brother and more than 40 relatives. They eventually settled in 2004.
The man, who has called himself a 'multibillionaire', was testifying against TCWF, who is asking for HK$5.5 billion from LKKS.
The glimpse into his family life came after the father told the court of his suspicion that LKKS and TCWF transferred US$18 million of his funds to a company solely owned by his son, describing them as 'a rat and a snake in the same nest'.
The court also heard that the patriarch's relationship with LKKS was not particularly good, with the son saying on Monday in reference to his ex-wife and his father that: 'I've been sandwiched between two unreasonable people for all of my life.' Yesterday, the father admitted that he in particular was unreasonable.
For reasons not disclosed in court, the father said family members of his generation did not allow LKKS to use the family surname.
The father believed that he would be 'excommunicated' by his family if he gave LKKS the family name. To get around the problem, he used a homonym of the family name.
The father also said he was willing to give the former daughter-in-law only US$26 million, compared with her demand of HK$5.5 billion, but that there was 'definitely no limit' on provisions for his granddaughter, now aged three.
He said he also agreed with his present wife that the girl should be included in his estate.
When asked by his lawyer whether he wanted to see the girl, the father said: 'Definitely. [My wife] also.'
The father's desire to see his granddaughter contrasted with the attitude of LKKS, who earlier told the court that he had seen his daughter only twice since her birth and would not play any 'personal role' in her life, although he admitted his financial responsibilities.
The hearing is scheduled to continue on Monday.
The amount in US dollars that the billionaire says he is willing to give his former daughter-in-law to settle her divorce from his son