Singer Piya ''Giftza'' Pongkulapa says her conviction for drink-driving last week was a life-changing experience.
Piya ‘Giftza’ Pongkulapa.
''I'm a woman. I have never had to deal with the police or go to court before. It's made me think about how I conduct my life,'' she said.
''Sometimes we can forget about duties, rights and things we have overlooked,'' the RS Promotion singer said.
''But if we break the law, we should expect to be punished. That penalty should make us think about how we handle ourselves, so it doesn't happen again,'' she said, urging her fans not to take her poor behaviour as an example.
The Phra Khanong Provincial Court on Wednesday sentenced Giftza to two months in jail for driving under the influence of alcohol, reduced to a month because she pleaded guilty.
Giftza later apologised on Twitter for the incident, as her employer, RS Promotions, announced it would suspend her for three to six months as punishment.
The pop singer said the incident was regrettable, and she did not intend to show anyone disrespect.
Giftza, 28, was pulled over at a traffic checkpoint on Phatthanakan Road the day before at 1.45am. She said she had been drinking at a Thong Lor nightspot since 10pm.
She initially refused to blow into a breathalyser, insisting on the right to drink three bottles of water first to help her sober up.
Giftza told a traffic police officer that she was ''a celebrity and knew many high-ranking police'', some of whom spoke to the officer by phone. Before reporters, however, she denied she was trying to pull strings.
The performer called some friends to her aid, including socialite Nattaphon ''Nat'' Sarasas. They turned up in a Nissan pickup truck and tried to pull her into the vehicle. Police prevented them from leaving, saying Giftza would have to take the breath test first.
Nat remonstrated with reporters and police. Journalists said Giftza also lunged at a cameraman to stop him filming, without success.
Giftza finally agreed to the test at 3.10am, which found her blood alcohol level was 82mg per 100ml of blood, above the legal limit of 50mg.
Police sent her to Klong Tan station, where she bailed herself out with a 20,000 baht surety. She was sentenced the next day.
Sek's wife off the hook
Rocker Sek Loso says he is relieved after his lawyer settled a legal dispute with his reconciled wife.
Sek's lawyer, Udom Prongfa, has decided to abandon defamation action he was taking against Sek's wife, Wiphakorn ''Kan'' Sukpimai.
The pair settled the dispute at the Ratchada Criminal Court last week.
Mr Udom said he agreed to settle after Kan apologised. The surprise conclusion of the meeting, which took four hours, followed months of fruitless court-brokered talks.
Mr Udom said earlier that Kan had accused him of helping himself to Sek's finances while Sek was being treated early this year for his hard drugs habit. He said Sek had asked him to safeguard his money and assets.
''Given that Kan was ready to apologise and is prepared to go back to Sek as his wife, I'm delighted to return to Sek, whom I love very much. If I was to maintain my pride or stubbornness, I would also suffer society's censure,'' Mr Udom said.
Kan said the dispute arose from a misunderstanding, and she hoped her family would know only happiness from now on. The couple's three children were delighted with their dad's recovery.
Sek said family life was much sweeter than before.
''I'm thrilled with the settlement, and would like to thank Udom for helping my family reunite,'' he said.
''I'm feeling in top form. I have a concert coming up next month, but am still checking in with my carers every month,'' he said, while reminding his young fans to stay off drugs.
The defamation wrangle erupted early this year while Sek was being treated for his drugs habit at the Thanyarak Institute in Pathum Thani.
He's lost the Benz
Comedian Thongthong Mokjok and an up-and-coming soldier friend have decided to cool their relationship, just two months after coming out to the media.
Thongthong says he and Capt Pawat ''Benz'' Dechaninda had decided to downgrade the status of their pairing, partly because of public reaction to news they were seeing each other.
In July, he invited journalists to Capt Benz's graduation ceremony at Chulalongkorn University, after declaring they were close family friends the day before.
Capt Benz, who has entered public service, graduated with a master's degree in political science, and now intends to continue studying for a doctorate degree.
Thongthong, who is well-known for roles in kathoey comedies, carried a large bunch of flowers for Capt Benz, as the couple posed for media photographs.
The comedian said he hesitated to call the young man his boyfriend, as they knew each other as members of the same family.
Thongthong, who is 10 years older than Capt Benz, said he also was worried about saying too much about their relationship, as it might affect the soldier's career.
Capt Benz spoke briefly to reporters, saying he was delighted Thongthong had come along to his graduation ceremony.
''We see each other according to Thai tradition. I regard knowing him as one of the successes of my life,'' he said.
Now, however, Thongthong admits things are not as close as they were. ''We still text each other, but do not see each other as often,'' he said last week. ''I'm now a mere 'neighbour', not family like before.
''I am talking to people, and I am sure he is too,'' he said. ''He could barely keep up with me, as I'm too hot,'' he joked.
Thongthong said their decision to go public with their friendship in fact helped undermine it.
''Actually, it had nothing to do with it. Alright, maybe a bit. But it's not connected with senior people. It's a personal matter.
''When we opened up about each other, we felt as if it trampled on our privacy,'' he said.
Friends in very taxing times
Jay Jetarin and Cherman ‘Ploy’ Boonyasak.
Friends of embattled actress Cherman ''Ploy'' Boonyasak are rallying around her as she counters claims she attempted to evade taxes.
Singer friend Jay Jetarin put in a word on her behalf as he performed in concert last week, while also taking a playful poke at the event organising firm which aired details of her tax affairs.
The revelations raised doubts about whether Ploy was meeting her obligations to the taxman and set off an Inland Revenue Department inquiry into her tax affairs.
Ploy sparked a tax dodging furore last month after she accused the event organiser Absolute for You of under-paying her.
The firm replied to Ploy's criticisms by revealing it was asked to register her for withholding tax in someone else's name.
Inviting Ploy to join him on stage, rocker Jay joked that he would not have to pay Ploy's appearance fee, as she had agreed to turn up for free.
''I didn't hire her, so there's no need to investigate her fee,'' he said, to audience laughter.
Joining in the fun, Ploy replied that she had dutifully paid her taxes. ''I did everything correctly under the law,'' she said.
Jay also had a dig at the event organiser, telling the firm not to bother hiring him or his celebrity friends, as they were wary of dealing with the firm.
''If you hire me, I won't go, because we're all scared of you now,'' he said.
About the author
- Writer: Mae Moo