Hong Kong tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung has placed full-page ads in local newspapers revealing details of his split with girlfriend Yvonne Lui.
Joseph Lau Luen-hung, 65, said he broke up with Yvonne Lui in 2014 but had given her HK$2 billion ($26o million) worth of gifts during their relationship.
Ranked as the world’s 65th richest man by Forbes magazine with a net worth of $13.1 billion, and convicted money-launderer, Joseph Lau Luen-hung made his fortune in real estate.
His ad sparked a debate in Hong Kong on the meaning of wealth.
Image source Wikimedia
Joseph Lau Luen-hung Lau has two children with Yvonne Lui, who is believed to be 26 years his junior.
The billionaire said his announcement was made in response to “untrue reports” about their relationship.
Yvonne Lui was now “a very wealthy woman” after receiving “lots of money, jewellery and other gifts” from him and no longer needed his “financial support”, he said, though added he would continue to support their children.
A former beauty pageant contestant, Yvonne Lui also has a PhD degree in chemical engineering from King’s College London.
Yvonne Lui had earlier released a cryptic statement on her website: “The children and I hope that you will recover soon and distance yourself from people who have been troubling you.”
Joseph Lau’s very public announcement has become the talk of Hong Kong, with many questioning the motives behind it.
He divorced his first wife in 1992 and has two adult children. He also has two children with his current girlfriend, a former entertainment reporter almost 30 years younger than him.
The billionaire has been seen in a wheelchair and is suffering from renal failure, heart disease and diabetes.
Joseph Lau, who was convicted of bribery and money-laundering in Macau in 2014, is well-known for his love affairs with movie stars and his extravagant romantic gestures.
It is not the first time he has used newspaper ads to get his message across.
In 2006, Joseph Lau bought a full-page ad anonymously wishing happy birthday to an ex-girlfriend.
A Hong Kong tycoon has bought the 12.03-carat Blue Moon diamond auctioned at Sotheby’s in Geneva for a record $48.4 million.
Joseph Lau confirmed he bought the ring-mounted, cushion-shaped blue diamond for his 7-year-old daughter, renaming it “Blue Moon of Josephine” after her.
Sotheby’s said the sale had set “a new world auction record for any diamond of any color”.
It is not the first time Joseph Lau, a property billionaire, has bought precious stones for his daughter.
The businessman – who was convicted of bribery and money laundering in 2014 – is also confirmed as the buyer of a 16.08-carat pink diamond, which Christie’s sold for $28.5 million on November 10.
The pink diamond purchased earlier this week has been renamed “Sweet Josephine”, a spokeswoman for Joseph Lau said.
In 2009, Joseph Lau bought another blue diamond for his daughter – the 7.03-carat “Star of Josephine” – paying what was then a record $9.5 million.
The tycoon was sentenced to five years in jail after his corruption convictions in a Macau court, but has avoided prison by not visiting the territory. There is no extradition treaty between Macau and Hong Kong.
Sotheby’s spokesman David Bennett described Blue Moon diamond as “magical”.
“I’ve never seen a more beautiful stone,” he said.
“The shape, the color, the purity, it’s a magical stone and everybody, I think, who put it on their finger thought so.”
Two bidders were locked in a telephone bidding war for eight minutes before the hammer went down on November 11 sale, correspondents say, with the jewel not exceeding its pre-sale estimate of $35-$55 million.
The diamond was found in South Africa in January 2014 and its striking blue color is attributed to the presence of the element boron within its crystal structure.
It was named “Blue Moon” to reflect its rarity.
Experts say the market for colored diamonds has become increasingly strong in recent months, with both blue and pink diamonds attracting a lot of attention in jewel sales in Geneva.
Colored diamonds are among the rarest in the world, even ones that are not particularly vivid or clear.