In a recent turn of events, a woman being sued for defamation is gaining access to the influencer’s private chats and diary entries to support her claims.
Here’s everything about this high-profile defamation case, summarised for you.
Posted IG Stories Accusing Rachel Wong of Cheating
Olivia Wu posted several Instagram stories titled “Cheater of 2020” in December 2020, where she shared stories accusing Rachel Wong of cheating.
If you didn’t know who Rachel Wong is till today, don’t worry: me too. Apparently, she’s a Singaporean full-time social media influencer, with 42,000 followers on Instagram.
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Wong was going through annulment proceedings over her marriage with Mr Anders Aplin when the stories were posted. The couple’s marriage was short-lived, as they began annulment proceedings only four months after they wed.
Wong, upon discovering the stories, then sued Wu for defamation, saying that those stories caused her to suffer damage to her reputation, standing and esteem.
Additionally, because she’s a full-time social media influencer, she was dependent on her social media reputation and image to get business deals and partnerships. This situation thus caused her income to take a hit.
Sought Access to Correspondence and Diary Entries
To bolster her defence that her stories were true, Wu asked the court for access to multiple correspondences and diary entries.
Specifically, she sought the correspondence exchanged between Wong and her gym trainer Mr Han. The timeframe she provided was from when she was in a relationship with Mr Aplin to April 2020, when the couple began annulment proceedings.
She also sought the correspondence between Wong and Mr Wan, the master of ceremonies at the couple’s wedding in December 2019. This was from the date she began a relationship with Mr Aplin to 27 August 2021, when she filed a lawsuit against Wu.
Wu further sought access to Wong’s diary entries relating to Mr Wan, from when she began her relationship with Mr Aplin to 27 August 2021.
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“Fishing Expedition” or Necessary Documents?
Wong’s lawyer, Clarence Lun of Fervent Chambers, argued that Wu should not gain access to these documents. He labelled it a “fishing expedition”, meant to infringe upon Wong’s privacy.
However, State Courts deputy registrar Lewis Tan allowed Wu’s application for the materials, overruling Wong’s objections. He said that the documents sought were relevant, as they would help to establish whether the stories were true.
To ensure that only the necessary documents will be disclosed, the court limited the discovery order to:
- all correspondence between Wong and Han from June 2016 to June 2020,
- all correspondence between Wong and Wan from June 2018 to June 2020,
- all diary entries relating to Wan from June 2018 to June 2020.
Wong responded to this ruling, saying, “Whilst we are disappointed with the decision, we trust and respect the outcome and the appeal process and will leave the honourable court to make its necessary findings and determine the truth of the matter.”
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