Singapore

Mistress in $2m suit says businessman vowed to provide for her

Less than a month after they first had sex, 55-year-old businessman Toh Eng Tiah proposed to his 33-year-old mistress at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, vowing to provide for her for the rest of her life, she said in court yesterday.

Mr Toh's lawyer accused Ms Angelina Jiang of telling untruths, saying it was unbelievable that a man in his 50s would make these vows after less than a month of intimacy.

She replied that Mr Toh told her he had stomach cancer and was living each day as though it was his last.

"He wanted a happy life with me, I was the woman in his heart," she said.

Ms Jiang was taking the stand on the third day of the hearing into Mr Toh's High Court suit to get back $2 million he had paid her between December 2016 and March 2017.

Mr Toh says the money was a loan that had to be repaid, while Ms Jiang says it was a gift.

Ms Jiang said Mr Toh pursued her after they met in November 2016 when he responded to her newspaper advertisement to sell her Thomson shophouse.

They began a relationship the following month, despite her initial reluctance to get involved with a married man, she said.

On Dec 19, 2016, Mr Toh signed an agreement to lend her $200,000 to buy a Balestier shophouse. Ms Jiang said they had sex for the first time that day, after which Mr Toh tore up his copy of the agreement and waived the loan.

She said on Jan 12, 2017, Mr Toh made several vows at the temple, promising to buy a house for her, set up home with her and support her financially.

Mr Toh's lawyer, Anthony Lee, attacked Ms Jiang's character in cross-examination, earning several objections from her lawyer, Mr Mahesh Rai.

Justice Andrew Ang shut down a few lines of questioning, noting that Ms Jiang's motives were not relevant to the case; what was relevant was whether Mr Toh had parted with his money by way of a gift or a loan.

Mr Lee had asked China-born Ms Jiang, who became a Singapore citizen in 2014, why she had changed her name from Angelina to Victoria and back to Angelina.

She said she changed her name to Victoria to get a new start but changed it back this year because of the lawsuit.

Mr Lee also grilled Ms Jiang, a graduate of Southwest University of Political Science & Law in her native Chongqing, on her sources of income.

In 2016, she was a manager at a construction company earning $8,000 a month while selling property part-time. She said she also had income from introducing friends to come to Singapore for studies and to buy property and insurance.

Mr Lee said the sums did not add up to her declared income for that year of more than $700,000. He suggested she had falsely overstated her income to obtain bank loans to buy property. She disagreed.

Mr Lee also told the court that in December 2016, she owed $675,000 to seven banks in unsecured loans.

Mr Toh's wife, Ms Chong Lee Yee, also took the stand to testify for him.

She said she found out in 2017 that he had paid sums of money to Ms Jiang and asked him to demand repayment.

She produced numerous photos secretly taken off her husband's phone, including nude pictures Ms Jiang had taken to "seduce" her husband, but the judge said it would not be necessary to show them to the court.

COURT & CRIME