Hour Glass co-founder Jannie Chan given 2-week suspended jail term for contempt

Jannie Chan was given a two-week suspended jail term for breaching court orders to stop sending her former husband harassing and defamatory e-mail messages.
Jannie Chan was given a two-week suspended jail term for breaching court orders to stop sending her former husband harassing and defamatory e-mail messages.ST PHOTO: DAVE LIM

SINGAPORE - Prominent businesswoman Jannie Chan, 72, was given a two-week suspended jail term on Wednesday (Aug 2) for breaching court orders to stop sending her former husband defamatory e-mails.

It was the third time her former husband Henry Tay, 73, pursued contempt of court proceedings against Chan. He dropped the case the first time and she was fined $30,000 the second time.

The couple, who co-founded luxury watch retailer The Hour Glass, ended their 41-year marriage in 2010.

On Tuesday, the High Court sentenced her to two weeks' jail for her latest breach but suspended the prison term provided she stops sending Dr Tay any e-mails, she continues to undergo psychiatric treatment once a month, and keeps her ex-husband updated about the sessions.

If she fails to comply, Dr Tay can ask the court to lift the suspension, which means she could end up in jail.

Dr Tay first filed a lawsuit against Chan in 2014 for sending him 1,260 e-mails, between November 2013 and September 2014, which he said were defamatory or amounted to harassment.


Jannie Chan and her former husband Henry Tay (pictured) co-founded luxury watch retailer The Hour Glass. They ended their marriage of 41 years in 2010. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Multiple court orders were issued, which restrained Chan from defaming Dr Tay and harassing him by sending him e-mails without his consent. But she flouted these orders and continued sending him e-mails, and he filed contempt of court proceedings against her.

The latest lawsuit relates to hundreds of e-mails sent between March last year and February, and between April and this month.

 

Chan appeared in court last month to explain the e-mails. She said they were largely updates on matters relating to their daughter Audrey and Audrey's children, and the companies owned by her and Dr Tay.

During the hearing, she veered off topic several times, and raised grievances against her ex-husband's "Korean lady friend".