Another day, another dollop o’ drama in the dispute between casino magnate Stanley Ho and the relatives accused of unlawfully transferring $1.4b of Ho’s assets into their own control. On Wednesday, Ho’s lawyer Gordon Oldham filed a fresh lawsuit on behalf of the 89-year-old Macau gambling icon against five members of Ho’s second and third families, including Pansy and Daisy Ho.
Pansy and Daisy, daughters of Ho’s second ‘wife’ (it’s unclear whether Ho is legally married to anyone), are perceived to be the architects of the whole brouhaha, having allegedly employed subterfuge to convince their father to sign away the vast majority of his shares in Lanceford, the holding company in which most of his assets resided. The two daughters had reportedly agreed to return the assets after Oldham filed the first lawsuit against them, but reneged on this agreement once the lawsuit had been dropped.
At a press conference in Hong Kong, Oldham claimed Stanley was “very very annoyed, very very disappointed.” Pansy and Daisy “have been reluctant to come forward to negotiate. They don’t want to talk to their father.” Oldham described the filing of the suit as “regrettable” but necessary because “promises made by Pansy and Daisy … have been broken,” and it appears that the sisters “do not intend to keep their word.” Oldham also hinted that more relatives’ names could be added to the suit “unless their full co-operation is forthcoming.”
Call us cynics, but with Stanley a frail, wheelchair-bound shell of his former ballroom-dancing playboy self (he reportedly underwent brain surgery last year), it appears that Pansy and Daisy are operating under the belief that possession is 9/10 of the law. With Stanley’s grip on this mortal coil loosening – and this situation surely can’t be helping his stress levels any – could these plotting family members simply be playing a waiting game, with the expectation that any lawsuit’s momentum will die with him? We’re not omniscient, so we have no idea what kind of father Stanley is/was, but the way this scenario is playing out, it makes the daughters of King Lear look like the girls from the Brady Bunch…