Divorcee granted £45k a month

A former beauty queen will have to get by on £45,000 (€60,000) a month following a divorce ruling in London.

Divorcee granted £45k a month

The woman — who became embroiled in a divorce money fight with a Laura Ashley boss — had asked for too much money to spend on holidays, a High Court judge concluded.

Pauline Chai, 68, who was Miss Malaysia 1969, wanted sums adding up to more than £130,000 a year for holidays alone from her estranged husband Khoo Kay Peng, 76.

She had asked for money to cover first-class flights, suites at five-star hotels, and chauffeurs. She has also complained she can only spend £450 a month on having her hair cut.

However, Mrs Justice Roberts said in rulings on the latest round of litigation that Ms Chai’s claims are “in excess” of what she is likely to spend.

The judge had been asked to make decisions on how much money Khoo, non-executive chairman of Laura Ashley Holdings, should give Chai to cover her living expenses pending final decisions on their cash battle.

She had been told the pair were potentially fighting over a fortune in the region of £200m.

Chai had asked for “interim maintenance” totalling more than £85,000 a month to cover her “needs” — which included holidays.

Lawyers for Khoo had described her “interim budget” as “staggering”.

Mrs Justice Roberts, who had analysed arguments on interim payments at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, has concluded Khoo should pay her around £45,000 a month.

Khoo and Chai both come from Malaysia, have five children, and married in December 1970 and separated after more than 40 years together.

They have been embroiled in a legal battle over money for months.

She wants to fight the case in England— he wants to fight in Malaysia.

He says Chai wants to fight in England because an English court will give her a more generous award.

Chai says Khoo is making a “desperate attempt” to avoid fighting over money in an English court.

She estimates Khoo is worth at least £441m and says his income is at least £5.4m a year. However, she says he has failed to give a “proper account” of his assets. Chai had argued that Khoo was continuing to have “income in the millions” and “assets” in the “hundreds of millions”.

Lawyers said she had “suffered reductions” since the separation.

They said Chai had stopped physiotherapy treatment, had started to “cut and dye” her own hair, had not been going on holidays, and had stopped her “expensive” hobby of renovating doll houses.

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox