KUALA LUMPUR: Actress Zahida Rafik will face a civil suit over a claim by her former personal driver that she defamed him by calling him a thief.
This follows the High Court’s decision here to reject a bid by Zahida, 39, to strike out the suit filed by her former driver Noor Azman Azemi.
Justice Hue Siew Kheng ruled yesterday that it was not a case to be summarily dismissed and set two days from Oct 20 for trial.
The judge also rejected an application by Zahida to stay the court ruling and ordered the actress to pay RM3,500 in costs after meeting the parties in chambers yesterday.
Speaking to reporters later, Noor Azman’s lead counsel Latheefa Koya said the judge held that it was not a “plain and obvious” case to be struck out.
Lawyer Jeffrey John acted for the actress.
In his suit filed on Nov 27 last year, Noor Azman, 40, alleged that the actress had accused him of running away with money that she had instructed him to deposit in her bank account.
He alleged that the actress defamed him in a Malay tabloid over a missing RM200,000 and that in March 2012 she had offered, with bad intention, a RM5,000 reward to anyone who could find him.
Noor Azman said Zahida, who acted in a series of Anak Mami movies and other films, had wrongfully given defamatory statements in an article published in the tabloid on March 3.
He claimed that her statements portrayed him as untrustworthy, a thief and a criminal and, as a result, he suffered a bad reputation and this affected his job prospects.
He said he was remanded by police for four days after Zahida lodged a report against him over the missing money.
Apart from damages, Noor Azman is seeking for an injunction to prevent Zahida or her agents from repeating the defamatory statements.