SINGAPORE: Entertainment lawyer Samuel Seow was charged on Friday (Jun 7) over an incident of alleged staff abuse.
Seow, 46, who is represented by lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam, was given four charges including for voluntarily causing hurt and using criminal force.
He is accused of grabbing the arms of his niece, pushing her against the table and slapping her cheek several times at his office on Apr 17 last year, and also for pushing another woman to the ground.
On that same day, he allegedly used criminal force on a third woman by poking her forehead with his finger. He is also accused of threatening her a few weeks before this by telling her: "I will take a knife and kill you."
The lawyer, who appeared downcast in court on Friday, first hit headlines in May last year after audio of an altercation between him and a female employee went viral.
Almost a year on, in April this year, accompanying videos were leaked online showing him beating and shouting at at least two women, one of whom was his niece.
Seow runs his own law firm Samuel Seow Law Corporation and founded artiste management firm Beam Artistes, which organises the Manhunt beauty pageant.
Both he and one of the women filed police reports against each other when the news first broke in May last year, but later dropped them.
Seow said in a statement on his Facebook page then that the incident had taught him important lessons and asked for anyone he was harsh to or had wronged to accept his apology.
After the fresh videos were leaked on YouTube in April this year, Seow issued a statement saying he was unsure what those who leaked the clips were trying to achieve.
He added that he did get stressed as he had three companies to manage, and that “time is a constant struggle” for an entrepreneur.
“It’s not an excuse - but it’s been a year and the relevant people have made peace and wish for this to be behind us,” he said.
“I hope to find closure with this issue soon, so I can move on with my life after my mistake from a year ago, so that the people who are constantly and conscientiously seeking to damage me can finally also, rest peacefully.”
"WE HAVE FULL FAITH IN OUR LEGAL SYSTEM": LAWSOC
Law Society president Gregory Vijayendran told CNA that LawSoc ordinarily does not comment on matters concerning lawyers who are charged in court.
“We have full faith in our legal system to mete out a just verdict in Mr Samuel Seow’s case,” he said in a statement.
He also reiterated a previous statement by LawSoc that it does not condone any form of abuse.
“In this case, notwithstanding the withdrawal of the complaint by the complainant in May 2018, Council unanimously referred information touching upon the conduct of Mr Samuel Seow to the Chairman of the Inquiry Panel pursuant to section 85(2) of the Legal Profession Act,” he said. “The matter is now pending before the Disciplinary Tribunal.”
LawSoc will publish the findings of the tribunal when the matter has been determined, it added.
The maximum punishment for voluntarily causing hurt is two years in prison, a fine of S$5,000, or both, while the highest penalty for criminal force is three months' jail, a S$1,500 fine, or both.
Seow will return to court next month.