Tycoon Joseph Lau reveals details of breakup with ex-girlfriend in full-page newspaper announcement

HONG KONG: In a full-page announcement printed in several newspapers on Tuesday, fugitive tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung said he had broken up with former girlfriend Yvonne Lui Lai-kwan in 2014.

The 65-year-old controlling shareholder of stock market-listed developer Chinese Estates Holdings said he had issued the five-point statement in response to “untrue reports in the media”.

His continued contact and correspondence with Lui, 37, a former Miss Hong Kong semi-finalist and holder of a chemistry doctorate, were solely because she was the mother of his two children, he added.

“Prior to the breakup, I maintained and took care of Ms Lui and gave her lots of money, jewellery and other gifts, the total value of which exceeded HK$2bil (RM1.1bil),” Lau revealed.

“Ms Lui has accumulated considerable wealth, and she is now a very wealthy woman. She can maintain a luxurious lifestyle by herself without my financial support.”

Lau said they had reached a written agreement in 2015 that both sides would not interfere in each other’s lives or make any claims to their respective assets.

The tycoon said he had allowed Lui to stay in his house and use his cars and private jet for the sake of his children. He reserved the right to make changes to this arrangement as he saw fit.

He ended the statement saying he hoped there would be “no further untrue reports or speculation”.

Rumours of the breakup with Lau had been circulating since August.

Lui told local media that she and the children were distressed to see Lau in pain. She said she did not care about who wrote the statement or what it was about. She and the children hoped only that he would get well soon and stay far from people making trouble for him.

Lau has a long-time partner, Chan Hoi-wan, a former entertainment reporter, who bore him a girl and a son. Chan was recently seen accompanying Lau on multiple trips to the hospital.

In October, Hong Kong prosecutors dropped their case against a local newspaper for publishing Lau’s medical report in a trial that ended up revealing the tycoon’s fragile health. The court heard that Lau was suffering from renal failure, heart disease and diabetes. He was strongly advised against any physical and mental stress by his doctor.

Lau and his high-profile business partner Steven Lo Kit-shing were found guilty in 2014 of corruption and money laundering for paying a HK$20mil (RM11.2mil) bribe to Macau’s disgraced ex-public works chief Ao Man-long.

Lau was sentenced to jail in absentia for five years and three months, but he has not served any time behind bars as Hong Kong – where Lau has been based – and Macau do not have any agreement on the transfer of fugitives.

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