Film director Stephen Chow Sing-Chi said in the High Court yesterday that he had let his ex-girlfriend Alice Yu Man-fung handle his personal investments because "she liked it."
Chow was defending himself before Justice Russell Coleman yesterday at a hearing in which Yu is suing him for HK$70 million in commissions for his property and fund investments.
Chow said he started his company The Star Overseas, which focuses on film production, in 1996. Before 2002, business operations were managed by his sister and Brenda Cheung. He added that Cheung was responsible for managing the company's finances.
Chow and Yu started dating in 1998 and he allowed Yu to handle his personal investment projects in 2002, even when she did not have any experience in the film or property industries.
When asked if he had let Yu handle his investment projects due to his trust in Yu and her abilities, Chow said: "It was mostly is because she liked it. If she didn't like it, I would not have forced her to do it."
He added that it was also because she was willing to learn and work hard, as well as because she was his girlfriend.
Chow said he was the one who initiated talk of a commission with Yu, and that had nothing to do with hiring her in April 2002 as a financial advisor.
At the time, Yu was paid HK$20,000 per month. When asked by Yu's lawyer, Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, if using money to express his love was strange, Chow responded that it was not, and that he had not worried about whether Yu was dating him for his money.
Chow said had talked about investing in local property and suggested giving Yu a 10 percent commission to express his love because he had Yu's support, was confident in his own ability to invest and because he was happy.
Giving his girlfriend a commission did not make her an investment agent, Chow said, adding that a 10 percent commission is a large amount of money and he had given it to her because she was his girlfriend.
He added that Yu had helped him in discussions with people in the US film industry due to her identity as a girlfriend, but not because of her English ability.
He agreed with Yu's previous statement that they spoke to each other in English to improve his language skills so he could communicate with people from the US film industry.
However, they rarely did so and he said that when Yu spoke to him in English, he replied in Chinese "99 percent" of the time.