Influencer Rachel Wong resolves defamation lawsuit “amicably” after a girl who accused her of infidelity apologized and withdrew feedback
SINGAPORE – Social media influencer Rachel Wong and Ms Olivia Wu, the woman who sued her for accusing her of infidelity, have settled their dispute out of court, according to a lawyer’s letter sent to Ms Wong on Tuesday (May 16). . August) posted on Instagram.
Ms Wu had branded Ms Wong the “Cheater of the Year 2020” on Instagram, claiming Ms Wong cheated on her ex-husband – national footballer Anders Aplin – with her fitness trainer and wedding presenter.
Ms. Wong then sued the other woman for defamation, seeking damages of S$150,000 including aggravated damages. She and Mr Aplin annulled their marriage four months after tying the knot.
The lawsuit has since been “amicably settled,” according to the letter from her attorneys, Mr. Akesh Abhilash and Ms. Cherrilynn Chia of Harry Elias Partnership.
In a separate Instagram post, Ms Wu retracted her allegations in the previous social media posts about Ms Wong and said she apologizes for the pain she caused the influencer.
“The dispute has attracted a lot of unnecessary publicity, which has hurt both of us, our close friends and our families. I honestly don’t think this argument should continue,” she wrote.
“Admittedly, my comments to Rachel, who I don’t know personally, were unnecessary.”
She added: “I am asking anyone who is reposting my previous posts or further posting this matter on social media or online platforms to stop and remove any existing posts to put an end to this matter while we both move on with our lives .”
In a brief statement from her lawyer to TODAY, Ms Wong said: “The publications which are the subject of our litigation and the content of which I have contested and disputed have been withdrawn and I have accepted Olivia’s apology.
“I’m glad we can move on with our lives now.”
Ms Wong previously told TODAY that she was being bullied online after the allegations surfaced and that deepfake videos of her – in which her face was inserted into pornographic videos – were circulating online.
She said she sees the lawsuit as a way “to speak up for people who have been victims of online abuse, harassment and defamation.”
Her lawyer, Mr Akesh, told TODAY on Wednesday that he was pleased the matter had been resolved as Ms Wong’s reputation in the trial was vindicated by Ms Wu’s apology and retraction of her previous allegations against the influencer.
Ms Wong was previously represented by Mr Clarence Lun of Fervent Chambers before appointing her new solicitors from Harry Elias on July 5.
Ms. Wong’s defamation lawsuit was prompted by six Instagram stories titled “Cheater of 2020” that Ms. Wu — a part-time nurse working for a pharmaceutical company — posted to her account in December 2020.
In her Instagram Stories, Ms. Wu, who is acquainted with Mr. Aplin’s current girlfriend, accused Ms. Wong of being intimate with her fitness trainer and wedding host Mr. Alan Wan.
Ms. Wu further claimed that Ms. Wong had sex with Mr. Wan on their wedding night.
As for the fitness trainer, Ms Wu claimed he had “intimate and sexual conversations” with Ms Wong via text messages on Telegram when she was dating Mr Aplin.
Ms Wong then sued Ms Wu, claiming that the posts caused her to tarnish her reputation as a full-time social media influencer who relies on her image to secure business deals.
In her lawsuit, Ms. Wong said that unless she really intended to marry Mr. Aplin, she would not have had a high-profile pre-wedding photoshoot. She said she “fully intended” to marry him before the wedding.
She also claimed that she, Mr Wan and another friend helped Mr Aplin to her hotel room on the night of their wedding when he passed out from alcohol poisoning. She added that she was never alone in the hotel room with Mr. Wan at the time.
She argued that through the Instagram Stories, Ms Wu insinuated that she had “ruined more than one person’s life,” that she was promiscuous, had a mental illness, had no morals, and “would fail a Mediacorp character test.” .
Ms. Wu countered that the posts are not defamatory because they are “essentially true.” She cited the defense of fair comment.
PAST COURT PROCEEDINGS
In February this year, District Court Registrar Lewis Tan approved Ms. Wu’s application for correspondence between Ms. Wong and the two men from 2016 to 2020 and her diary entries from 2018 to 2020 about Mr. Wan.
Mr. Lun, Ms. Wong’s former lawyer, had opposed the request, saying it was a “fishing expedition” that would violate her privacy and confidentiality.
However, Mr. Tan called the materials “clearly relevant” as they would help establish the truth.
Ms Wong appealed but a High Court judge rejected it in June, meaning Ms Wong had to release her diary entries and correspondence with the two men.
Separately, in February, Ms. Wong was granted permission to file a lawsuit against Ms. Wu for failing to meet the deadlines set by the court for contempt of court procedure. A two-day trial was then held over the matter.
In April, a district court judge found that Ms. Wu committed no contempt of court.