S'pore man sues woman for over S$3 million after she friend-zoned him

He claimed to have suffered emotional trauma upon finding out that she only regarded him as a friend.

Hannah Martens | February 01, 2023, 08:50 PM

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A man in Singapore, K Kawshigan, resorted to legal action when a woman, Nora Tan, refused to pursue a romantic relationship with him.

As he would discover, however, she merely regarded him as a friend.

In a High Court lawsuit, he sought over S$3 million for the "emotional trauma" he suffered after making the discovery.

He also started a separate lawsuit in the Magistrate's Court seeking S$22,000 in damages, claiming that Tan breached a legally binding agreement, acting for himself as a self-represented party.

The Magistrate's Court suit was roundly dismissed in a judgment issued in January 2023, where Kawshigan's case was struck out for being an abuse of process.

According to the judgment, Kawshigan's claims against Tan stem from frustration with her as she was unwilling to accommodate his demands to deepen their "relationship".

The S$3 million he sought through his High Court lawsuit would serve to compensate him for indefinite loss of potential investments, rehabilitation and therapy programs to overcome the sustained trauma, and reductions in his earning capacity, Kawshigan claimed.


Tan and Kawshigan met in a social setting in 2016, said the judgment. They became friends over time.

However, conflict began to arise around September 2020 when they became "misaligned" in how they viewed their friendship.

While Tan only saw Kawshigan as a "friend", he considered her his "closest friend".

Following this, Tan requested their interactions be reduced, which left Kawshigan feeling displeased. He felt this would constitute "taking a step back in the[ir] relationship".

Tan urged him to be "self-reliant", emphasising her boundaries and restricting their meetups.

Kawshigan responded to this by sending her a "Letter of Demand" on Oct. 22, 2020. He threatened her with legal action for "monetary damages arising from negligent infliction of emotional distress and possible defamation".

Tan tried to reason with Kawshigan, citing her genuine discomfort surrounding the situation. Still, he insisted that she could either comply with his demands or suffer "irrevocable damages [sic] to [her] personal and professional endeavours".

Text messages between the two, some of which were excerpted in the judgment, showed that Kawshigan sought to instil fear in Tan and give her little choice but to agree to his demands or "go into battle".

Tan refused to give in, and ceased communications with him.

Asked her to participate in counselling sessions

Then, a woman who said she was Kawshigan's counsellor reached out to Tan and asked her to join his counselling sessions, which Tan agreed to.

She hoped that by going, Kawshigan would come to terms with her decision not to pursue a romantic relationship with him.

However, little progress was made by 2022, after a year and a half of counselling.

Tan felt that the counselling sessions had become "meaningless and futile" as Kawshigan appeared unable to accept her reasons for not wanting anything to do with him.

She could also not deal with his "unreasonable requests" anymore and stopped attending the sessions.

She also initiated harassment proceedings against Kawshigan.

Then, the two communicated back and forth over WhatsApp from Apr. 23, 2022, to May. 14, 2022. Kawshigan repeatedly tried to make "unreasonable requests" like meeting up more or sharing more of her life, which Tan could not accommodate.

She ceased all communications on May. 14, 2022, as she could "no longer deal with his unreasonable requests and his inability to respect her personal boundaries".

Filed claim for S$3 million in damages

When Tan cut all contact with Kawshigan, he sent her an Offer to Settle, which was met with no reply.

Thus, he initiated the S$3 million High Court action against her on Jul. 7, 2022.

He tried to claim damages from her for allegedly defamatory remarks and negligent conduct. Such comments suggested that he had harassed and spied on her, causing him to suffer "damage to his stellar reputation" along with "trauma, depression and impacts" on his life.

The damages claimed included S$1.2 million for "indefinite loss of potential investments" as he said his earning capacity as an "active high-capital trader by night and busy CEO by day" had been negatively affected.

Ulterior motives

In the judgment, Deputy Registrar Lewis Tan opined that Kawgishan did not actually seek monetary relief.

Instead, Kawshigan was using legal action to punish Tan for refusing to give in to his demands and for cutting contact with him.

"Considered in totality, I find that the present action was intentionally initiated by [Kawshigan] with the ulterior motive of vexing or oppressing [Tan]," said the Deputy Registrar.

He struck out Kawshigan's claim, and added:

"This court will not be an accessory to [Kawshigan's] attempt to compel engagement from [Tan] who, after years of massaging [Kawshigan's] unhappiness, has finally decided to stand up to his threats rather than cower and give in to his demands."

The S$3 million High Court claim is scheduled for a pre-trial case conference on Feb. 9, 2023, according to hearing information on the Singapore Courts website.

Tan has also reportedly launched a countersuit against Kawshigan, citing the expenses she incurred in protecting herself from his alleged harassment, CNA reported.

Kawshigan's company being reported to police over cancellation of beach party without refund

Meanwhile, D1 Racing, a company where Kawshigan is a director, has become the subject of multiple police reports from beach party ticket-holders, after the event's abrupt cancellation.

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