Tell-all tai tai video to come off YouTube

Court orders Lorea Solabarrieta to remove 12-minute video interview with wife of businessman David Chor from the website

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 4:37pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 February, 2013, 5:59am

A journalist was ordered on Wednesday to remove a video depicting the life of a rich but lonely wife of a Hong Kong businessman from YouTube.

A Court of First Instance judge issued the interim injunction against Lorea Solabarrieta, a former TV anchor and presenter, ordering her to remove The Life of a Hong Kong Tai Tai.

He also ordered that a caption on a CNN website that refers to the husband and wife be taken down.

Mr Justice Leung Chun-man made the rulings in favour of businessman David Chor Ki-kwong, whose wife is the subject of the video. Chor had sought the injunction, saying the film was an embarrassment.

In the 12-minute film, which has been viewed more than 85,000 times, Chor's wife describes herself as someone who does not need to work because her wealthy husband looked after her. She buys a lot of luxury items, she adds, to give "face" to her husband.

The wife displays their Ferrari and her collection of Hermes and Gucci handbags.

But she breaks into tears describing her husband as a busy man who spends little time with her.

Chor lodged a suit against Solabarrieta last October, after a friend told him in August that the film was on YouTube - two years after it was first uploaded.

Chor's lawyer, Winnie Tam SC, said the video "subjected [her] client to ridicule".

Outside court, Solabarrieta, who is still contesting a permanent injunction, said: "I am fighting because it damages my integrity and reputation as a journalist. I don't want to keep quiet."

She said Chor, who was a classmate of her mother's in secondary school, and his wife consented to be filmed but had now changed their minds.

"They are deliberately taking away my freedom by doing this," she said. "If you have something private, don't say anything to journalists."

During the hearing, lawyers for Chor said an agreement was made between Solabarrieta, his wife and himself, that they would be filmed only for Solabarrieta's master's degree programme in journalism at the University of Hong Kong.

In October the court handed down an order, in Solabarrieta's absence, requiring her to remove the video. But she only switched the viewing option from public to private, without taking it offline. Solabarrieta contested the validity of the ruling on the grounds she did not receive the writ.

Chor argued that Solabarrieta committed contempt of court by breaching the order.

Chor is not asking for financial damages from Solabarrieta because monetary compensation was not an adequate remedy for the embarrassment and injury he has suffered, his lawyers said.

Solabarrieta's lawyer, Sebastian Hughes, argued the video contained no information of a confidential nature. Chor had been eager to be filmed, the lawyer said. "He is not a person who likes to be low-profile. He is a person proud of his success. He is flamboyant," Hughes said.

He said Chor invited Solabarrieta to his house to film, and suggested filming in a restaurant at the Jockey Club. Solabarrieta said Chor's action tarnished her professional reputation.

The judge will hand down his reasoning later, in writing.