Tycoons' court cases are a bit rich

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 October, 2012, 8:23am

Our entertainment industry may be in the dog house, but our city is providing real-life amusement to the rest of the world, thanks to some of the wealthiest people in town. We have, it seems, become a reality show - you just can't make this stuff up - with the main actors being our tycoons, their children and grandchildren. You'd think with the money they have, they could buy the best education to make themselves smarter, or at least have more common sense.

Alas life is not so easy.

As shown in a lawsuit filed in a US District Court in Boston, Gerald Chow King-sing, the executive director of giant jewellery chain Chow Sang Sang Holdings, and his wife Lily are seeking the refund of US$2.2 million from former Harvard visiting assistant professor Mark Zimny, now an education consultant. The money was apparently handed to the consultant to grease "the admission wheels" of a prestigious US university, preferably Harvard, for their two sons.

Why not just donate the money directly to Harvard? Well, Zimny, according to an Associated Press report, allegedly claimed there was "embedded racism" against Asian donors at many top universities and it was more effective to work through a middleman like himself.

You will be glad to learn that for his business smarts and intellect, Chow was an adviser to the Central Policy Unit, the government's influential think tank.

Meanwhile, wealthy businessman David Chor Ki-kwong has filed a writ in the High Court in a bid to have Life of a Hong Kong Tai Tai, a short documentary featuring his wife and family, removed from YouTube. He has asked for an injunction against its distribution, claiming CCTV journalist Lorea Solabarrieta had breached confidentiality. The 12-minute clip shows his wife showing off their Ferrari, having a pedicure and manicure, exercising in a gym and shopping at brand-name stores. It had few viewers for months until the media reported on the case. It has now been viewed more than 50,000 times.

Unfortunately, Sacha Baron Cohen, of hit comedy Borat, won't be able to play Chow or Chor. He is already due to make a movie based on Cecil Chao Sze-tsung's offer of half a billion Hong Kong dollars to any man who can win the heart of his lesbian daughter, Gigi Chao.