Hong Kong-Macau tycoon Stanley Ho’s family rift deepens as daughter Angela distances herself from sister Deborah over legal action

Jasmine Siu

A rift in the first family of late gaming tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun deepened on Tuesday after his eldest surviving child distanced herself from her sister following legal action by the latter to register interest in their father’s estate in Hong Kong.

In a statement issued through her lawyers, Angela Ho Chiu-yin said she and the rest of the first family did not support the caveat filed on June 5 by younger sister Deborah Ho, which she described as “completely irresponsible and inappropriate”.

The said caveat demanded that Deborah Ho’s lawyers be notified before the Probate Registry of the High Court in Hong Kong seals the official grant, which would name the administrator entitled to deal with the estate.

Casino tycoon Stanley Ho died on May 26, 2020, at the age of 98. Photo: AFP

“Neither [Angela] nor any of the first family supports the recent action by Deborah, her sister, in the filing of a caveat,” the statement from the elder Ho read.

“Angela and the first family consider such filing to be completely irresponsible and inappropriate during this sensitive period and wishes to publicly distance herself from the actions of her sister.”

Angela Ho’s lawyer, Gordon Oldham, said she had no plans to file a similar notice at this stage and added that the family was not informed Deborah Ho would take such action. Oldham said he believed there was no urgency over the matter as probates took months, if not years in Hong Kong.

“It came out of the blue in a matter of days after Stanley Ho died,” Oldham told the Post.

The family has yet to settle on a date for Ho’s funeral.

Angela and the first family consider such filing to be completely irresponsible and inappropriate during this sensitive period and wishes to publicly distance herself from the actions of her sister

Statement from Angela Ho

The tycoon died on May 26, 2020 at the age of 98, survived by three wives and 14 of his 16 children, and leaving behind his legacy of having transformed Macau into the world’s biggest casino hub.

The Hong Kong-Macau business magnate had co-founded SJM Holdings, which owns 19 casinos in Macau including the Grand Lisboa.

One of Asia’s richest men for decades, Ho’s personal fortune was estimated at HK$50 billion (US$6.4 billion) when he retired in 2018 just months before his 97th birthday.

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Both Angela and Deborah Ho are children from his first marriage with Clementina Angela Leitao, also known as Tininha, who died in 2004.

The family rift surfaced last month when Deborah Ho sued Angela Ho and demanded that her elder sister provide lawyers with the deeds and documents related to The Clementina Ho Trust and The Stanley and Clementina Family Trust.

The legal move prompted Angela Ho, who is the trustee in both cases, to issue a statement, saying it was unfortunate her sister had issued proceedings against her to obtain the documents.

“I am very sad and dismayed that all the family members have been dragged into this matter due to Deborah’s unnecessary and disruptive actions,” Angela said.

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