Former TVB actress Katie Chan Fok-sang has been shortchanged on her HK$323,000 monthly maintenance from her wealthy ex-husband Michael Hotung to the tune of HK$3.4 million, a Court of Appeal judgment revealed yesterday.
Chan and Hotung, both in their 50s, were married for 21 years before their divorce in 2010, and Hotung was ordered to pay for the education of their two children and the monthly maintenance.
Hotung abided by the order until November 2011, but then reduced payments to HK$40,000 a month, on top of education expenses. He later paid arrears of HK$1.4 million before reverting to monthly maintenance payments of just HK$40,000 or so. From April 2012 to March 2013, the amount owed grew to HK$3.4 million. After Chan applied for financial relief, it was ruled that Hotung should pay Chan a lump sum of HK$120 million. On receipt of the money, Chan has to move out of a flat in the Grand Panorama on Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, and transfer certain shares over to Hotung.
Hotung appealed against the ruling, but yesterday the Court of Appeal's Madam Justice Maria Yuen Ka-ning, Mr Justice Aarif Barma and the Court of First Instance's Mr Justice Ian McWalters ruled his appeal could only proceed if he paid the arrears of HK$3.4 million in the next two weeks. Otherwise, it would be dismissed.
"The husband was in fact able to pay the sum of HK$323,000 a month ... [and] the arrears is a relatively small sum considering the wealth enjoyed by his family," Yuen said in the judgment.
In 2010, Hotung filed a lawsuit against Chan over allegedly defamatory comments made in interviews. Hotung's mother, Winnie Ho Yuen-ki, also filed a court claim saying Chan had refused to return three diamond rings worth over HK$30 million.
Ho is the estranged sister of Macau gambling mogul Stanley Ho Hung-sun. Hotung's father is tycoon Eric Hotung, grandson of the businessman Robert Hotung, who was knighted in 1955, the year before his death.
Michael Hotung made a report to police last year, accusing Chan of using chopsticks to steal letters from a mailbox in a building owned by Hotung Estates in Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok.
Winnie Ho reportedly secured the return of the rings. The consequences of Hotung's lawsuit and police report against Chan are unknown.