• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 10:08am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 3:25am

Wealthy have only themselves to blame

If you don't want to air your dirty laundry in public, don't talk to reporters. It's elementary but somehow people keep forgetting it.

Take the case of wealthy and flamboyant businessman David Chor Ki-kwong, who has obtained a temporary court injunction to remove a video depicting the life of his pampered but lonely wife, titled The Life of a Hong Kong Tai Tai. He is seeking a permanent injunction, against which the journalist, Lorea Solabarrieta, is fighting.

Few people knew of the existence of the 12-minute video clip, which lingered for many months last year on YouTube with a small number of viewings. You would have thought Chor could let sleeping dogs lie but no, he insisted on taking legal action. As a result, everyone now knows about the clip, which has been viewed more than 85,000 times.

His lawyer told the court that the video had caused him embarrassment and that Solabarrieta had breached a confidentiality understanding between them. It's doubtful the video could have caused more embarrassment than what he is doing now.

The clip features his wife's privileged lifestyle such as having a pedicure and manicure, exercising in a gym, and displaying their Ferrari and her collection of Hermes and Gucci handbags; nothing you wouldn't expect from any self-respecting tai-tai.

The only mildly revealing moment is when she breaks down in tears, complaining her husband is a busy man and does not spend much time with her. Again, such family arrangements are nothing unusual for many a local tai-tai. But that was probably what Chor's lawyer meant by "embarrassment" for his client.

Our wealthy elite have gone into high gear to provide tabloid entertainment for the rest of us.

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, has made the playboy tycoon (in)famous the world over. Chao probably rather enjoyed the publicity, unlike Chor. But all this just proves the old saying that common sense is not all that common.

As for Mrs Chor's complaint about being lonely, I suggest her husband spend less time in court and more time keeping her company.


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Dai Muff
According to your paper's own reports, the "reporter" in question asked for access to the family (which she knows personally) as a student, to complete a student thesis project. He would have been wiser, in view of the extra attention, to have left it alone or refused access in the first place, but the court clearly feels he has a valid claim this was not for public consumption.
Thanks for your honest and direct reponse -- direct and conventional. Just think of how libelt law has had the effect on silencing society. Who are the patron of such law and threat? Look beyond?
All self-importance is a form of self-pity in disguise ~ Deepak Chopra.
Right on, Alex.
I can’t just ignore the coincidence of today’s news and My Take both about challenge to free speech and freedom of press by the C.Y. Leung’s demand of a retraction of a newspaper story and a local business man’s law suit of an unwanted publicity. Both must evoke or motivated by libel law for an honor tarnished. It is really light weight and too irrelevant a law for our time. But both have other legal ground to protect one’s honor; demand for evidence for the allegation or breach of confidentiality agreement and to see light of the day in court. I will totally support such a move to protect the innocent. Otherwise, a libel suit is just seen as an outdated law designed to protect the privileged and the wealthy in real old aristocratic culture. Just get rid of such a frivoling law.
You cannot help being ignorant, but don't be stupid as well. If you "get rid of such a frivoling law" then anyone would be able to spread false stories about others including accusing honest people of being criminals, ruining their career and family. If the allegations are true then the libeller wins the case. Why shouldn't one be able to protect one's reputation?
Thanks for your honest and direct response -- direct and conventional. Just think of how libel law has had the effect on silencing society. Who are the patrons of such law and threat? Look beyond?
It reminds me of the case brought against the Daily Mail in about 1920 where Edward Marshall Hall, perhaps the most famous ever barrister advocate, defended the newspaper against a libel suit brought by a very rich and proud aristocratic woman over the newspaper's critical description of the fashionable hat she wore at Ascot Racecourse.
During the trial the anniversary of the WWI Armistice interrupted the proceedings and the court held a minute's silence in honour of the dead of the war, in which most, if not all, the jury had lost a family member or dear one.
After the silence, Hall said, "............now let us return to the trivial complaints of this lady."
Needless to say, the jury dismissed the silly woman's case.


SCMP.com Account