Singapore: Well-known social media influencer accused of infidelity fails to cease courtroom order over correspondence with two males
SINGAPORE, July 2 (The Straits Times/ANN): A social media influencer has failed in her legal attempt to prevent another woman from receiving correspondence between her and two men she is accused of being intimate with to be.
Influencer Rachel Wong (pictured) had appealed a state court order to provide such documents to Olivia Wu, who is suing her for defamation.
But High Court Judge Choo Han Teck dismissed the appeal in a ruling on Tuesday (June 28), ruling that the information Wu requested to bolster her defense had been shown by her to be relevant and essential to the lawsuit .
The court’s decision is the latest development in the ongoing legal battle between the two women, which concerns multiple stories Ms. Wu posted on her Instagram account in December 2020.
The stories, titled “Cheater of 2020,” suggested Wong had been unfaithful to her former husband, Anders Aplin.
Court documents did not specify the relationship between Ms. Wu and Ms. Wong.
Wu, a part-time nurse who works at a pharmaceutical company, is reportedly acquainted with Aplin’s current girlfriend.
The stories were released while Wong’s marriage to Aplin, who is a footballer here, was annulled.
They married in December 2019 but their marriage was legally annulled in March last year. The nullity proceedings began in April 2020.
Wong later sued Wu, claiming that the stories caused her to damage her reputation and image on social media, on which she largely depends “to attract and maintain business deals through partnerships” for a living earn.
The influencer argued that the stories – when read along with their title – meant she had sex with her wedding presenter, Mr Alan Wan, on their wedding night and that she was promiscuous, among other things.
In her defense, Wu claimed that the stories were true and that Wong had been “more than intimate” with at least two men while she was in a romantic relationship with Aplin: her fitness trainer — a Mr. Han — and Mr. Wan.
To bolster her case, she applied for a court order to obtain correspondence between Wong and the two men. She also searched Wong’s diary entries related to Wan.
Deputy State Court Registrar Lewis Tan granted the request, and Wong later appealed the decision to the High Court.
In his Tuesday ruling, Judge Choo noted that Gerard Quek, Ms Wu’s attorney, had presented the court with photocopies of text messages containing “lurid details” from a person named Chen Xuan Han. These messages did not reveal their recipient.
Judge Choo also disagreed with Wong that Wu’s request for the court order was scandalous and annoying.
The correspondence sought could prove scandalous, but only because of the nature of the subject of the defamation, he said.
Judge Choo said the narrative in Wong’s case was unclear.
“Due to a combination of Instagram language and the attorney’s utter failure to translate this into English,[Ms. Wong’s]complaint is filled with chaff,” he said.
The judge also noted Wong’s description of her Instagram account as having 41,400 followers.
“That, I suppose, qualifies her to be a celebrity, in her opinion,” he said. – The Straits Times/ANN