The Taipei District Court yesterday awarded NT$5.2 million to Winston Wang (王文洋), chairman of the Hung Jen Group (宏仁集團), in compensation for damage to his reputation resulting from allegations of sexual impropriety.
Wang, son of Formosa Plastics Chairman Wang Yung-ching (王永慶), won the civil suit yesterday against a woman who had claimed to have been Wang's mistress and to have had a child by him.
According to the court, the woman, Jo Jo Lin (林爰君) approached Wang in 1996 pretending to be a wealthy businesswoman interested in investing Wang's Hung Jen Group.
Days after they signed some business contracts, Lin made phone calls to the group and claimed Wang had got her pregnant. She then asked Wang to give her financial support or she would expose the affair to the media.
Though he denied the relationship, Wang gave the woman NT$3.2 million in 1998 for fear that bad media publicity would damage the image of his business which was just beginning to take off.
However, Lin still went on TV to speak of her "relationship" with Wang and the baby she claimed to have had by him.
Wang then took the case to court, charging the woman with blackmail and requesting NT$20 million in compensation for damage to his reputation.
The criminal court found Lin guilty of blackmail last December and sentenced her to 17 months jail. Lin was supposed to begin serving her sentence in March but went into hiding instead.
In the civil decision handed down yesterday, the court decided Lin must pay NT$5.2 million in damages for injuries to Wang's character.