Supermodel appeals verdict in her favor, wanting more

By Hai Duyen   November 16, 2023 | 03:31 pm PT
After a trial awarded supermodel Ngoc Thuy half-ownership of assets in dispute between her and her ex-husband, she filed an appeal asking the court to give her more.
Supermodel Ngoc Thuy attends a trial over assets in dispute between her and her ex-husband in Oct. 2023. Photo by Thien An

Supermodel Ngoc Thuy attends a trial over assets in dispute between her and her ex-husband in October 2023. Photo by Thien An

Thuy stated Thursday that she filed an appeal at the High People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City asking it to review the initial verdict regarding the suit between her and her ex-husband, Vietnamese-American businessman Nguyen Duc An. She argued that she was entitled to ownership of an asset that An had been given control of, and demanded half ownership of several other real estate properties the initial verdict had not granted her.

The battle over the post-divorce asset division between Thuy and An initiated when An sued Thuy in 2010 for not returning Vietnam-based assets worth VND288 billion (US$11.8 million). The property in question includes several real estate assets, automobiles, stocks, and cash. An claimed that these assets were bought with money he "made before their marriage," and thus demanded full ownership of the properties.

The HCMC People’s Court ruled earlier this month that since the properties had been bought when the now-divorced couple were still married, they were "joint assets" and each of the former spouses is entitled to half ownership of the total.

The court rejected An’s claim that Thuy had bought the assets with money he "had made before marriage" and subsequently "transferred to her," citing lack of proof.

Thuy now requests the appeal court change a part of the initial verdict, which gave An ownership of an interior design company and ordered An to pay her VND43.6 billion, an equivalent of half of the company’s shares. She insisted that as the business’ current legal representative, she should be entitled to own the company instead of An. Her statement said that she should thus pay An half of the company shares’ value.

She also demanded that the appeal court add five more villas in the coastal province of Phan Thiet to the list of her and An’s shared marital assets. Thus, she demanded An pay her an additional amount of VND8.7 billion, equivalent to half of those assets’ value.

Prior to Thuy’s filing, An also appealed the HCMC People’s Court’s ruling, saying that the court’s judgment, which ordered him to equally divide the disputed assets with Thuy, was "unconvincing" to him.

He said the court did "not take all of the proof into account" and failed to "fully and objectively assess the evidence," which "severely affected his legal rights and benefits."

He thus petitioned the High People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City to hold an appeal to judge the case "objectively" and "based on laws."

An, 61, married Thuy, 43, a model and actress, in 2006 after knowing her for just a week. They divorced in 2008.

As a foreigner, he had to register properties in Thuy’s name during their marriage, as required by Vietnamese law, An said.

The court held its first trial on Aug. 18 this year, 13 years after An filed the suit. The court reported that the trial couldn’t begin until then because authorities had to spend years obtaining "documents related to the properties in dispute."

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