Shoe tycoon Tang recalls his 'nightmare'
'King of Shoes' Patrick Tang Kim-kwan described his relationship with a former mistress who cheated on him with a young television actor as a 'nightmare memory'.
Tang, 69, who admitted being deeply embarrassed by Karen Lee Chi-ting's fling with former Mr Hong Kong Francois Huynh, called her an unfaithful liar.
He was testifying in the Court of First Instance on the second day of a trial in his attempt to recover ownership of three properties - in Sai Kung, Hung Hom and Tsim Sha Tsui - and the sale proceeds of a fourth, in West Kowloon. He said he had not given the properties as gifts to Lee because 'they cost quite a lot'.
Tang heads a shoe-trading empire, ATG Sourcing, and has an estimated fortune of HK$2 billion. The court heard earlier that the pair started their relationship in 2002. Tang was 'madly in love' with Lee at first, he said yesterday. He put her name down as joint owner of a house at Marina Cove, Sai Kung, a half-ownership that he said was subject to Lee's faithfulness to him. But she proved untrustworthy over a seven-year relationship, he said.
'During the 'honeymoon' [in the first few months], my eyes were virtually blind and my ears virtually deaf,' Tang said. 'When you are in love with someone, you would not bother about [what people say about her].'
Tang claimed Lee told him in December 2002 that she was pregnant, but a medical report showed she conceived in March 2003.
Lee's lawyer suggested it would have been easy for Tang to tell if her belly was growing, and asked why he did not find out if she was lying.
'Did you have an intimate relationship with the defendant during the so-called honeymoon period?' the lawyer asked, clarifying that she meant sexual intercourse.
'A lot,' Tang said. 'She is not the first woman who became pregnant by me. I didn't pay attention [to the pregnancy claim].'
He said she had lied to him many times and that her pregnancy claim was not the only falsehood.
The court heard earlier that Lee's father was jailed for drug trafficking, her brother was bankrupt and she was jobless when she met Tang.
'She said to me, 'You treated me so well when I had such devastating experiences. Why on earth would I leave you?'' Tang told the court.
The court earlier heard that Tang juggled a wife and two mistresses. He gave Lee a HK$50,000 monthly allowance and paid the mortgages on the Hung Hom, Tsim Sha Tsui and West Kowloon homes. He also gave her jewellery worth HK$3.1 million as well as HK$4.2 million in cash.
Outside court, Tang said: 'I have so much money that I can't spend it all. Now when I see women, I'll avoid them, especially attractive women.'
The hearing continues before deputy High Court judge Anthony Houghton.