Mother of Anita Mui slams 'disrespectful' auction of late star's belongings

Mother of late pop diva Anita Mui says items to be auctioned today should be kept by the family

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 October, 2013, 8:40am

The mother of the late singer Anita Mui Yim-fong was reduced to tears yesterday by an auction of the Canto-pop queen's belongings that will take place today.

Tam Mei-kam, 88, criticised HSBC International Trustee Limited, the administrator of the star's estate, for being "disrespectful" to her daughter.

All my requests to take a look at the items were declined by the bank. It is unfeeling and cruel
Tam Mei-kam

Over 400 items - including costumes, furniture, jewellery and awards - will go under the hammer, items that Tam said should be kept by her family or put in an exhibition.

The items for sale were originally housed in Mui's home in Shouson Hill, which was reportedly sold by the administrator for HK$147 million in August to finance decade-long legal battles with Tam.

"All my requests to take a look at the items were declined by the bank," Tam said yesterday. "It is unfeeling and cruel."

One Mui fan said she was sad to see that the awards won by her idol would be "scattered around".

"These awards won by her should be displayed collectively to the public as they are her life-long honour and pride," the fan said.

Astrid Chan Chi-ching, of the Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild, said she would see if any assistance could be provided to Mui's family.

A spokesman for HSBC International Trustee Limited said the auction was in accordance with Mui's wishes.

"Following the will of the late Anita Mui, HSBC International Trustee Limited, as an executor of the estate, appointed professional agents to realise the value of the assets of the estate, including a number of chattels [types of property]," he said.

"The proceeds from the sale of the landed properties and chattels, after the completion of the estate administration, will be settled into a trust for the benefit of beneficiaries."

Mui died of cervical cancer in December 2003, aged 40. Before she died, she made a will and set up the Karen Trust.

The will stated Mui's assets of HK$100 million would go to the trust, which provided Tam with an allowance.

But Tam challenged the validity of her daughter's will after Mui's death and has been embroiled in lawsuits to date. Yesterday, Tam said she would never regret spending her savings on her dispute with the trust, which led her to bankruptcy.