Singapore’s most talked-about scandal this month has drawn, like a moth to anything resembling light, one of the nation’s top drama queens.
YouTube channel owner Sylvia Chan, 33, opened her heart up last night to controversial personality and friend Wendy Cheng, aka Xia Xue, in a nearly two-hour interview. Speaking publicly for the first time since allegations surfaced that she abused staff, misappropriated funds, and exploited a vulnerable woman, Chan dropped bombshell allegations of her own against former business partner and husband Ryan Tan.
Chan said she is trying to keep the company “afloat” and said it lost S$250,000 worth of brand deals within the scandal’s first week earlier this month.
“I know they paint me that everybody has left but there are still 30 over people left in the company now who are still doing their job trying to tank through this shit together with me and the fact is people say why don’t these people speak up? Who dares to speak up? I am the shit of Singapore now, nobody is going to associate with me,” she said in Cheng’s interview, which included chat logs and emails to back her claims.
Her fusillades were mostly aimed at Tan, whose friends Chan suspects of having a role in the damaging leaks against her.
Chan said she was forced to be the company’s “bad cop” – for which she’s been accused of fostering a toxic work culture and insulting employees – to protect Tan, who could not stand being hated. She said his need to be liked coupled with his suicidal tendencies “manipulated” her into being the staff disciplinarian.
“There are days where you think he is going to die, there are times when I run around the house thinking he has killed himself, and I think it’s me because I didn’t protect him,” she said. “I felt very manipulated.”
Tan has not responded to multiple messages seeking comment, including one this morning regarding Chan’s assertions.
Chan said she was “ashamed” of her “crass” treatment of her employees and is now in therapy.
Chan revealed that they “never had a happy marriage” in their 10 years together, unlike what they presented viewers online. Accused of infidelity in the anonymous allegations which emerged earlier this month, Chan said it was in fact Tan who had cheated at the beginning of their marriage with a waitress. She also said he had several “crushes” on female talents whom he frequently drove home and took trips with.
In a text conversation dated last year, Tan told Chan that he had occasional crushes over the years and said one woman had tried to “do something funny” with him while drunk but he pushed her away.
“We have never had a happy marriage because he always had something to do with the girls in NOC,” she said.
But Chan wanted to present them as a “golden couple” to protect their brand image. She also denied ever cheating on Tan.
She repeated her belief that the events of recent weeks were part of a coordinated campaign to influence negotiations over divvying up Tan’s business holdings.
“It just seems like every time I have to deal with a lawyer, a new fresh set of things will come up,” she added.
Cheng, who has courted her own scandals over the years as a social provocateur, said she was trying to keep the interview “neutral” as a friend but seemed swayed by Chan’s shocking revelations.
Chan said she doesn’t know who was behind the mysterious anonymous Instagram account Sgcickenrice which leaked the bulk of the allegations but knows the “many people” responsible for a subsequent blog post.
Chan addressed other allegations such as her using company funds to pay rent at her shophouse where she lives with her brother. She said the house is one of the channel’s offices where employees drop by often to work and shoot in all areas even in her bedroom.
To those saying her brother is paid a salary for doing nothing as a way to obtain legal status, she said he has “always” worked for the company as a talent, props manager and producer.
She said leaked Zoom videos which showed her apathetic attitude were intentionally taken out of context, adding that Tan has a habit of illicitly recording people and has threatened to release such videos to keep her “in check.”
“I’m saying that the recordings they just pick the worst part, the angriest part,” she said. “I 100% believe that it has been planned.”
Regarding one of the most serious allegations, that she offered up sex with a colleague to secure a shipping deal, Chan said she did not. She was simply playing matchmaker.
“What is wrong to Introduce girlfriends to really rich guys?” she said. “They are really just going overboard here. I have never asked them to send anything for me at all. There was no barter and there was no trade.”
Chan told Cheng that she has lodged six police reports including a magistrate’s complaint in which she claimed that her email was hacked. Police are investigating and she is in the process of clearing her name, she added.
“I think I’m in a very special place that no people have gone through where people that you really really trust are really betraying you very, very hard, and then you have people kicking you down when you’re already down,” she said.
“These people are people that I work my life for, they got their career because they are a part of this company.”
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