SINGAPORE - A 33-year-old property agent being sued by her former lover for the return of $2 million said in court on Thursday (Aug 22) that she had signed a loan agreement only because the businessman wanted to use it to divorce his wife.
Ms Angelina Jiang said Mr Toh Eng Tiah, 55, was not willing to give his wife shares in his paper recycling company upon their divorce.
"He needed the contract to show her that he did not love me more than her," she told the High Court.
She was testifying on the fourth day of the hearing into Mr Toh's suit to get back $2 million he paid her between December 2016 and March 2017.
Mr Toh, who owns three recycling companies, says the money was a loan, while Ms Jiang says it was a gift.
Both sides signed a loan agreement for $2 million on March 24, 2017, after Mr Toh had already advanced more than $1 million to her. He then paid her another $872,000.
Ms Jiang said Mr Toh suggested that they sign the agreement as a "ploy" to placate his wife, who had found out that he gave large sums of money to Ms Jiang.
She said Mr Toh wanted to show the document to his wife to make her believe he had only lent Ms Jiang the money, which would be repaid.
On Thursday, Mr Toh's lawyer, Mr Anthony Lee, said this did not make sense, given Ms Jiang's testimony that the businessman was about to divorce his wife.
"There is no reason for Mr Toh to have to appease his wife because he was about to divorce his wife," he said.
Ms Jiang disagreed. She said the "fake contract" was to be shown to Mr Toh's wife so that she would not insist on getting shares in his company in their divorce.
Mr Toh wanted to show that giving his wife $3 million and two properties for a childless marriage was "good enough", said Ms Jiang.
She said Mr Toh promised not to enforce the contract or sue her for the money.
Mr Toh even suggested that to make the ploy look realistic, each of them should engage their own lawyers to witness the signing, said Ms Jiang.
She said he told her the contract had to be signed before March 31, the day he was negotiating the divorce with his wife.
Mr Toh earlier testified that he had gone with Ms Jiang to meet divorce lawyers on Jan 31, 2017, but he had no intention of divorcing his wife.
On Thursday, Ms Jiang also accused Mr Toh's wife, Ms Chong Lee Yee, of fabricating evidence.
Ms Chong had produced photos of text messages between Mr Toh and Ms Jiang that she said she had secretly taken off her husband's phone.
But Ms Jiang said 95 per cent of the messages were not sent by her. She noted that many photos did not show her Wechat avatar and name, nor the date and time of the messages.
Comparing the photos with her own records, she also pointed out discrepancies and formatting differences.
The trial continues in September.