By now, you probably would have heard of the ongoing defamation suit that Singaporean influencer Rachel Wong has filed against one Olivia Wu.
If you're not quite sure about what's happening and are keen to find out more, you can check out our explainer here.
The lowdown, however, is that Wu had posted a series of Instagram Stories, accusing Wong of infidelity, and painting her to be an immoral and promiscuous character.
During the most recent hearing on June 28, 2022, High Court judge Justice Choo Han Teck delivered a short but savage judgement to dismiss Wong's appeal.
The influencer had wanted to stop Wu from gaining access to her correspondence (i.e. text messages) with the two other men that she was allegedly intimate with, while she was attached and later married to Singaporean footballer Anders Aplin.
Seven best quotes
Here are our favourite quotes from Choo, as detailed in his judgement.
But before we get into that, here's a quick look at who's who, owing to the legal terms used:
- Plaintiff: Rachel Wong, the influencer suing for defamation
- Defendant: Olivia Wu, the woman who had posted the allegedly defamatory Instagram Stories about Wong
- Counsel: Lawyer
1) "The plaintiff describes herself as “a full-time social media influencer, actress, model and host”. She maintains an Instagram account that she claims has 41,400 followers. That, I suppose, entitles her, in her estimation, to be a celebrity."
What we understood it to mean: Influencers, you ain't all that.
2) "It is not for me to decide on the merits of the action since this is only an appeal against the order for specific discovery against the plaintiff, an order made by the court below, and is now the subject of the appeal before me. But it is essential that the narrative is understood before the merits of this appeal can be determined. That, is the first challenge — the narrative is not clear."
What we understood it to mean: He had no idea what Wong's team was trying to say.
3) "By a combination of Instagram-speak and the utter failure of counsel to translate that into English, the Statement of Claim is filled with chaff."
What we understood it to mean: Please write a better Statement of Claim. Chaff, by the way, is another word for rubbish.
4) "Another of her [Wu's] statements was reproduced in the Statement of Claim, with emphasis in bold and underline, by the plaintiff’s counsel. It is hard to tell whether the emphasis represented counsel’s excitement or outrage, but such emphasis is not necessary in pleadings. That paragraph was pleaded as follows:"
What we understood it to mean: This is a court of law; please keep your personal feelings out of it.
5) "When asked what exactly the defamatory content of the plaintiff’s case was, Mr Clarence Lun, counsel for the plaintiff, referred to a line in paragraph 12 of the Statement of Claim which states as follows: “WHICH KIND OF BEAST FKS THE BRIDE ON HER WEDDING DAY?????”. I leave the capital font in the original text alone but removed counsel’s emphasis in bold and underline."
What we understood it to mean: No amount of bold and underline gonna help your case, bro.
6) "She [Wong] also avers that the defendant’s statements were understood to mean that the plaintiff had sexual relations with one Alan Wan, the master of ceremonies at her wedding, and “had no intention of marrying her ex-husband, Anders”, it must be obvious that counsel meant to write “marrying Anders.”"
What we understood it to mean: English, please.
7) "In many discovery applications, the party resisting often claims, as Mr Lun (Wong's legal counsel) is now doing, that the applicant is “only fishing”, and the court should not order disclosure that lends indiscriminate assistance to such unmeritorious applications.
In this case, samples of relevant material had been produced, and, just to extend the fishing analogy just a bit more, it is not a mere fishing expedition if fish has in fact been spotted."
What we understood it to mean: Y'all need to come up with better reasons for an appeal. And if the use of analogies are the only way to get through to you, so be it.