Anita Mui's mother hurls shoes at lawyer

Unruly scenes in court as 88-year-old is told she cannot have cash from Anita Mui's trust

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 January, 2013, 4:17am

The mother of late Canto-pop diva Anita Mui Yim-fong threw objects at a lawyer yesterday after the court decided she could no longer receive HK$120,000 a month in living expenses from her daughter's trust.

Tam Mei-kam, 88, hurled a pink object, the cap of a thermal bottle and a pair of shoes at Kevin So, solicitor for HSBC International Trustee, the administrator of Mui's trust.

Although it appeared Tam did not use great force, all the objects hit So. She also swore at So, who moved from the lawyer's table to stand behind a court clerk.

Mr Justice Jeremy Poon Shiu-chor, in the Court of First Instance, was about to leave the court when Tam's antics began.

She had failed to persuade the court the payment should be resumed to support her everyday costs and medical expenses. She said the payment had been suspended since July and she was owed seven months' money.

Last year a judge said Tam, who had earlier been declared bankrupt, could keep the monthly allowance. But Poon ruled yesterday that Tam should not receive it because the trust, which owed HK$40 million, could not pay the debt.

The estate has been drained by steep administration costs, which five years ago were running at HK$300,000 a month.

Tam told Poon: "I am an old woman. It's [expletive] nasty of you to torture me by cutting my allowance. I will fight you with my old body."

She banged the table, leading the judge to ask her to calm down, saying he was worried about her health.

After Tam threw the shoes, her domestic helper retrieved them. She was warned by the court clerk to stop, but replied: "I will do this even if it means I will be arrested."

She was later taken away by her son, Peter Mui Kai-ming.

The court heard that the trust had recently sold a property for HK$8 million to raise funds to repay its debts.

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

The will said Mui's assets of HK$100 million would go to the trust, which provided Tam with an allowance. The balance after Tam's death would go to the New Horizon Buddhist Association.

Tam challenged the validity of the will a few months later and has been in and out of court ever since. In May 2011, Mr Justice Patrick Chan Siu-oi said in the Court of Final Appeal that her case was "entirely without merit".