Comedian Stephen Chow Sing-chi sued by ex-girlfriend for HK$80m
Comedian Stephen Chow Sing-chi's former girlfriend is suing him for HK$80 million - the amount she claims he owes her in commissions on the expected sale of a luxury Peak house.
For years, Chow benefited from the financial skills and advice of Alice Yu Man-fung, according to a writ filed with the High Court on Monday. In return, he paid her a salary plus millions of dollars in commissions.
Yu said Chow - spelled Chiau in the writ - would not have been able to get into the highly lucrative deal to redevelop the Skyhigh development on The Peak without her assistance. The claim involves one of four houses at 10 Pollock's Path, a joint venture by Chow and Ryoden Development. The four houses have been redeveloped and three have been resold. The third, owned by Ryoden, went for a record HK$800 million in May last year.
The fourth house, owned by Chow, has yet to be sold. But Yu is suing for a 10 per cent commission on the expectation that it will fetch the same lofty price.
Yu claims she introduced Chow to the deal when she learned Citibank would auction the property at 10 Pollock's Path. She said her social networking power helped bring in Ryoden as an investor, without which Chow would not have enough money to close the deal.
She says she received from Chow HK$14.9 million in commissions for the sale of two houses at the development, sold at Filings HK$350 million and HK$300 million in 2009.
Yu started urging Chow to pay her HK$80 million commission on the fourth house, after Ryoden's HK$800 million sale.
In July of last year, Chow suggested that he would sell the house in four years, and he would pay the commission over the intervening period, the writ said. In March, it says, Chow sent her a cheque for HK$10 million plus a letter saying this was a "gratuitous payment", denying he owed her any commission.
According to the court paper, Yu signed an agreement with Chow in 2002 to become his personal financial consultant, paying her HK$20,000 to HK$59,000 a month. They made an oral agreement that Chow would pay Yu 10 per cent after-tax profits on successful investments as commission. Yu says she helped him make profits of at least HK$195 million between 2007 and 2010.