Singaporean influencer Rachel Wong has been ordered by the High Court to turn in her correspondence with the two men involved in her alleged infidelity.
A quick backgrounder
The 27-year-old is currently embroiled in a lawsuit where she is taking Olivia Wu to court for defamation after Wu posted a series of six Instagram Stories titled “Cheater of 2020" in December 2020. (Psst, here's a nifty explainer to get up to speed or as a refresher.)
Wong is seeking damages of S$150,000 for these Instagram posts. This includes damage to her reputation as a full-time social media influencer along with aggravated damages.
While the lawsuit has not gone to trial yet, Wu sought for specific documents from Wong in preparation for the trial by making a case and applying for specific discovery in district court.
Discovery is a pre-trial process which enables both parties to get evidence that's in each other's possession.
Among the documents that Wu wished to obtain from Wong include records of Wong's correspondence (i.e. text messages) with the two men that she was allegedly intimate with while she was attached and later married to Singaporean footballer Anders Aplin.
Four months after their wedding in December 2019, Wong and Aplin annuled their marriage and severed their nearly eight-year relationship.
The two men are:
- A man named Han, who was Wong's gym trainer; and
- Alan Wan, who was Wong and Aplin's wedding emcee and an actor
In addition, Wu has also requested for Wong to submit her diary entries.
Following this, the district court deemed the documents "plainly relevant" in supporting either Wu's claim of infidelity or Wong's claim of defamation and ordered for specific discovery.
Under this, Wong had to turn in the following:
- All correspondence exchanged between Wong and Han from June 2016 to June 2020;
- All correspondence exchanged between Wong and Wan from June 2018 to June 2020; and
- Wong's diary entries relating to Wan from June 2018 to June 2020
High Court reject Wong's appeal
Wong appealed against the district court's ruling, but the High Court judge upheld the ruling made by the lower court and rejected her appeal on Jun. 28, according to court documents.
Judge Choo Han Teck agreed with the lower court that Wu had "adequately shown" that the documents she sought were relevant to the trial.
Wu had filed the following during her application for specific discovery:
- Photocopies of text messages “depicting lurid details” apparently from a man named Chen Xuan Han
- An entry from Wong's diary where she reportedly declared her love for Wan which apparently included a photograph where she was lying on his chest
Not a fishing exhibition
Choo rebutted Wong's lawyer's claim that Wu's request for these documents were simply a "fishing expedition".
"It is not a mere fishing expedition if fish has in fact been spotted," said Choo, who went on to posit that there was reason to believe that other similar entries may be found based on the material Wu produced.
He added: "And if the diaries are produced but no such entries are found, then surely that should strengthen the plaintiff’s case at trial."
Rubbished Wong's statement of claim
He also fleshed out Wong's statement of claim, where she claimed she "fully intended" on marrying Aplin and was never alone with Wan in her shared hotel room with Aplin on their wedding night.
This "narrative" was imperative to his ruling for specific discovery, explained Choo, who went on to remark that it was not clear and rubbished Wong's statement of claim.
"By a combination of Instagram-speak and the utter failure of counsel to translate that into English, (Wong’s) statement of claim is filled with chaff."
Wong disappointed with High Court's ruling
Quoting a statement released by Wong's lawyer on her behalf, Today reported that she was "disappointed with the outcome".
She planned to continue with the lawsuit and explained it was to "stand up for people who have been the subject of online abuse, harassment and defamation".
In a separate Instagram story on Jun. 30, Wong further added that she could have "stayed small, kept quiet and live in the villain narrative they painted for me" instead of pursuing the lawsuit in the public eye.
This was in response to an anonymous comment submitted through a chatbox opened by Wong where the individual rebuked Wong's statement and claimed that she was "desperately" trying to "cover (her) own ass" after she was "rightfully called out".
By going to court, Wong said she was leaning on the judicial system for support, where she hopes it will "honour" her "unchanging" truth and help fight against acts that she thinks are wrong.
Trial dates for the case have not been set yet.
Top images from @rachelwongggg/Instagram