Less than a month after they first had sex, 55-year-old businessman Toh Eng Tiah proposed to his 33-year-old mistress at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, vowing to provide for her for the rest of her life, she said in court yesterday.
Mr Toh's lawyer accused Ms Angelina Jiang of telling untruths, saying it was unbelievable that a man in his 50s would make these vows after less than a month of intimacy.
She replied that Mr Toh told her he had stomach cancer and was living each day as though it were his last. "He wanted a happy life with me. I was the woman in his heart," she said.
Ms Jiang was taking the stand on the third day of the hearing into Mr Toh's High Court suit to get back $2 million he had paid her between December 2016 and March 2017.
Mr Toh, who was indeed ill at the time, says the money was a loan that had to be repaid, while Ms Jiang says it was a gift.
Ms Jiang said Mr Toh pursued her after they met in November 2016 when he responded to a newspaper advertisement she had placed to sell a shophouse that she owned in Thomson. They began a relationship the following month, despite her initial reluctance to get involved with a married man, she said.
On Dec 19, 2016, Mr Toh signed an agreement to lend her $200,000 to buy a Balestier shophouse.
Ms Jiang said they had sex for the first time that day, after which Mr Toh tore up his copy of the agreement and waived the loan.
She said that on Jan 12, 2017, Mr Toh made several vows at the temple, promising to buy a house for her, set up home with her and support her financially.
Mr Toh's lawyer Anthony Lee attacked Ms Jiang's character in cross-examination, earning several objections from her lawyer, Mr Mahesh Rai. Justice Andrew Ang shut down a few lines of questioning.
The judge noted that Ms Jiang's motives were not relevant to the case; what was relevant was whether Mr Toh had parted with his money by way of a gift or a loan.
Mr Lee had asked the China-born Ms Jiang, who became a Singapore citizen in 2014, to produce her identity card, asking why she had changed her name from Angelina to Victoria and back to Angelina.
She said she changed her name to Victoria to get a new start as she was involved in "many things" but changed it back on July 30 this year because of the lawsuit.
Mr Lee also grilled Ms Jiang, a graduate of Southwest University of Political Science and Law in her native Chongqing, on her sources of income. In 2016, she was a manager at a construction company earning $8,000 a month while selling property part time. She said she also had income from introducing friends to study in Singapore and to buy property and insurance.
Mr Lee said the sums did not add up to her declared income for that year of more than $700,000. He suggested that she had falsely overstated her income so that she could obtain bank loans to buy property.
Mr Lee also told the court that in December 2016, Ms Jiang owed $675,000 to seven banks in unsecured loans.
Mr Toh's wife, Ms Chong Lee Yee, also took the stand yesterday to testify for him. She said she found out in March 2017 that her husband had paid sums of money to Ms Jiang and asked him to demand repayment.
"I told my husband: This woman is out to cheat you," she said.
She produced numerous photos of chat messages between Mr Toh and Ms Jiang. She said she had secretly taken them from her husband's phone.
She said the photos included nude pictures Ms Jiang had taken to "seduce" her husband, but the judge said it was not necessary to show them to the court.