Beds, Herts & Bucks

Ex-wife of Laura Ashley boss claims £100m after divorce

Pauline Chai Image copyright PA
Image caption Pauline Chai wants a divorce settlement of at least £100m

The former wife of Laura Ashley boss Khoo Kay Peng has told a court she made an equal contribution to their wealth by being a "traditional" wife.

Pauline Chai, 70, of Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, claims their assets are worth at least £205m and wants half.

Dr Khoo, 78, a non-executive chairman of Laura Ashley Holdings, will argue she should receive about £9m.

The Family Division of the High Court in London is hearing the case after the breakdown of their 42-year marriage.

'I stayed at home'

The former beauty queen told the judge that she and Dr Khoo had made a sharing agreement and that he had always said "what's mine is yours".

She said: "I looked at marriage in the traditional way.

"He is the breadwinner and I stayed at home and looked after the children. It was a daunting task.

"He was in business and I didn't really get into business. I did my job looking after the house and the family and the children."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Khoo Kay Peng will argue that his former wife is entitled to about £9m

Dr Khoo, who is based in Malaysia, and Ms Chai have five grown-up children together.

A barrister representing Ms Chai, who was Miss Malaysia 1969, told the court that Dr Khoo would argue that he had made a special contribution to generating wealth because of his "business genius".

But Mr Todd said Ms Chai had made an equal contribution by shouldering the domestic burden.

The hearing is expected to last several weeks.

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