updated 6 Sep 2013, 19:29
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Sun, Jul 14, 2013
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Miss World S'pore finalist revealed to have had brush with trouble
by Charlene Chua

Scandalous allegations continue to plague the Miss World Singapore (MWS) 2013 pageant.

On Wednesday, The New Paper reported on how finalist Vanessa Tan was accused online of being a free-lance prostitute.

Now, it has come to light that another finalist, Miss Teri Chua, is the same girl who defamed Miss Universe Singapore 2009 Rachel Kum three years ago.

STOMP reported in 2010 that Miss Chua, who went by the name Chua Sim Bian then, had to write an apology letter and pay $12,000 in settlement fees to Miss Kum for uploading saucy photographs of the beauty queen online.

The pictures were leaked after Miss Kum's win.

Although there was some pressure from the public to dethrone her, Miss Kum went on to represent Singapore at the international finals.

The incident soon blew over after Miss Chua was reportedly asked to pay Miss Kum $12,000 in legal fees in an out-of-court settlement.

According to the report, Miss Kum had also obtained a restraining order against Miss Chua.

The two women told TNP that they had signed a non-disclosure agreement which stated that they couldn't speak about this matter to anyone, including the press.

According to the apology letter, which Miss Kum's lawyer Abraham Vergis disclosed to TNP, Miss Chua confessed to posting defamatory comments about Miss Kum on various blogs, forums and websites.

Miss Chua had also bought rights to Miss Kum's domain, rachelkum.

com and impersonated her to make it appear that the defamatory and derogatory posts, articles and photographs were published by Miss Kum.

She also confessed to intentionally harassing Miss Kum by sending her many e-mails and SMS messages.

Mr Vergis, the managing director of Providence Law Asia, told The New Paper: "Rachel bears no illwill against Ms Chua and prefers not to be involved in this matter at all.

"However, she understands that she has to answer to this (and thus the decision to disclose the apology letter)."

According to Mr Vergis, the apology letter isn't covered under the non-disclosure agreement. TNP understands that there was a dispute between the two women which led to Miss Kum hiring a lawyer to settle her run-in with Miss Chua.

Miss Chua had apparently accused Miss Kum of owing her a sum of money which ran into the thousands. This was for work that Miss Chua had allegedly done for the company where Miss Kum was working then.

Miss Chua met Miss Kum during the Miss Universe Singapore 2009 pageant when she was doing design work for the pageant, which included designing materials for its website.

Owe money, pay money

TNP also understands that Miss Chua had chased Miss Kum for the payment after the latter allegedly refused to pay her.

The methods that Miss Chua used included setting up websites asking Miss Kum to "owe money, pay money".

The dispute was eventually resolved out of court. When contacted, Miss Chua, 22, said that she could not comment on the case because of the nondisclosure agreement.

However, she admitted that her act of harassing Miss Kum three years ago was a mistake she attributed to youth.

She said: "I was 18 and I thought it was logical then to do things like that.

"I cannot speak about what happened, but there is background to what happened that made it all end up in the out-of-court settlement."

She added: "When I think about it now, I feel bad for what I did. I even laugh, thinking about it. I have moved on since then."

Wanting badly to put this behind her, Miss Chua admitted that she was afraid that the unearthing of this case would affect her chances in this year's MWS pageant.

However, event organiser Edmund Ooi of Asia Music People said that he was aware of Miss Chua's case because she had declared it to him when she auditioned for the pageant.

He said: "Why we decided to let her join the pageant was because hers wasn't a criminal case, it was an out-of-court settlement.

"I think that all these girls know that their past will come under scrutiny once they join the competition and it's brave of them to do it.

"When they are prepared to face the public, they will also be prepared to deal with their issues. "It's important that they realise their mistakes and have moved on."

He added: "In this way, I hope more girls will come forward and join Miss World Singapore next year."

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