Property tycoon Joseph Lau (centre) with girlfriend Chan Hoi Wan and their daughter Josephine in Hong Kong in 2014. PHOTO: APPLE DAILY
HONG KONG - Real estate tycoon Joseph Lau and his girlfriend, former entertainment reporter Kimbie Chan, have filed a notice of intended marriage, the latest twist in the tabloid saga of their love triangle.
Mr Lau, 65, and Ms Chan, 37, submitted the notice on Nov 18, days after he placed front-page advertisements to announce his 2014 breakup with former beauty contestant Yvonne Lui, 37, said Apple Daily.
Mr Lau is Hong Kong's fifth richest man, with a net worth of US$12.6 billion (S$18 billion), according to Forbes magazine. He made headline news last year when he paid a record US$49 million at auction for a blue diamond for Josephine, his daughter with Ms Chan who is now eight. He has five other children with Ms Chan, Ms Lui and his late former wife Theresa Po.
In his breakup statement published on Nov 15, he said he had given Ms Lui HK$2 billion (S$368 million) in cash, jewellery and other gifts during their relationship, leaving her a "super rich woman" who did not need his financial support.
In an interview with Apple Daily that day, he denounced her "insatiable" greed and said he would leave Ms Chan billions, so that she could fight off any lawsuit filed by Ms Lui in future. He also confirmed that he had a recent kidney transplant.
On Tuesday (Nov 22), he told the newspaper that he had planned to marry Ms Chan a few years ago, and that it had nothing to do with his breakup statement.
Asked why he is marrying Ms Chan out of his girlfriends, he answered: "Kimbie isn't greedy. She's simple. She's not a bad woman. She's taken good care of me and my children. She has a kind heart."
Ms Lui, who met Mr Lau in 2001, has a daughter and a son with him.
Ms Chan was popular with the stars in her years as an Apple Daily reporter, and comedian Stephen Chow once pinched her face in public, said the newspaper. After meeting Mr Lau through work, she resigned from Apple Daily in 2002 and joined his cosmetics line.
She gave birth to a girl in 2008 and a boy in 2012.
After filing a notice of intended marriage, couples in Hong Kong have three months to make things official. On Tuesday, Ms Chan said of her upcoming marriage to Mr Lau: "This is the happiest thing in life!"
Ms Lui said: "Of course I hope he's happy. Happiness is the best cure!"
This story was first published in The Straits Times.