Supermodel wants half of $12M assets in dispute with ex-husband

By Staff reporters   September 19, 2023 | 12:40 am PT
Supermodel Pham Thi Ngoc Thuy wants assets worth VND288 billion ($12 million) with her ex-husband Nguyen Duc An equally divided between them, claiming they were bought after their marriage in 2006.
Supermodel Pham Thi Ngoc Thuy at the court on September 18, 2023. Photo by My An

Supermodel Pham Thi Ngoc Thuy at the court on September 18, 2023. Photo by My An

Thuy’s legal representative said in court Monday that she had received VND47 billion ($1.9 million) in dong and $700,000 in US dollars from An in March 2008, and the disputed properties, including several in HCMC and the coastal provinces of Phan Thiet and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, with that money.

Because of that, Thuy disagreed with An’s request to claim the assets back.

Thuy also said she registered various properties in the list of assets in dispute under the name of her mother, Truong Thi Be. She said she asked Be to help her sell those properties after she and An divorced in 2008, and admitted that Be transferred the money made from selling those properties to her.

However, she said she could not remember the exact amount of money she made by selling those properties.

She explained the reason behind selling those assets was that she had to move back and forth between Vietnam and the U.S. at the time and thus, found it hard to manage those properties herself.

Responding to Thuy’s claims, An’s legal representative argued that An only asked Thuy to help him "register the properties in Thuy’s name," since he held an American nationality and thus could not own Vietnam-based properties, instead of mutually buying the properties with Thuy.

The businessman’s lawyer also said though An and Thuy did not sign any written contract on the issue, many people, including Be, had known about the two’s agreement and had sent their testimonies to the court.

In addition, An and Thuy had also reached a mutual agreement in front of an U.S. court about their two daughters "[being] entitled to own the properties" after Thuy returned them, claimed An’s legal representative.

Those were the foundation for An’s lawsuit filing.

An’s legal representative also claimed that An had completed his post-divorce responsibilities by transferring five luxury apartments in HCMC’s District 1 to Thuy, and let her own the profits generated from renting these properties out to others as alimony for her and their two daughters, who stay with Thuy.

It is estimated that it would take the court up to five days to give their final decision over the dispute.

An, 61, married Thuy, 43, a model and actress dubbed "the Marilyn Monroe of Vietnam" in 2006 after knowing each other for just a week. They divorced in 2008.

An filed a suit in the HCMC People’s Court in 2010, claiming Thuy had not returned 39 Vietnam-based assets - including several real estate properties, automobiles, and stocks - he had bought with "money he earned before marriage."

As a foreigner, he "had to register the properties in Thuy’s name".

The Superior Court of California had ruled that Thuy had to return the properties to him as they "were purchased with his money [and not related to Thuy]."

He said his children would be "entitled to the properties" if Thuy returned them.

But Thuy said in a 2014 interview with VnExpress that she and An did not sign a prenuptial agreement on properties acquired during their marriage, and so they belonged to both of them.

The HCMC People's Court announced in August this year that it would finally hold a trial for the case after 13 years since it had to "obtain documents related to the properties in dispute."

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