Music master finds new pet, Tye flings mud, Toy's tantrum

Music master finds new pet, Tye flings mud, Toy's tantrum

Old bull likes young grass?

Music master finds new pet, Tye flings mud, Toy's tantrum
Pita Limjaroenrat

The wife of Thai national artist Chonlathee Thanthong is resisting his demands for a divorce, denying claims of assault and insisting he wants to end their union to marry a woman young enough to be his niece.

Chonlathee Thanthong and Ruksakun 'Kade' Jaengprasong

Chonlathee, 81, is under fire on social media after admitting he has a live-in partner, Ruksakun "Kade" Jaengprasong, 29, and wants a divorce from his wife of 27 years, teacher Siriwimol "Poom" Thongma, 51.

He claims Poom assaulted him, is jealous, and referred in unpleasant language to his parents. He denies he wants the divorce so he can marry Kade, insisting she is a mere student who helps care for him.

Chonlathee, a look tung composer, insists their problems pre-date his relationship wiith Kade. The Family Court in Kanchanaburi has called the couple in on June 10 after Chonlathee filed papers seeking a divorce.

The feuding couple went before the media last week with Chonlathee admitting he hasn't spoken to his wife since he left their marital home in May last year.

He insists his wife hit him, and has shown bruising on his arm to back his claims. Poom denies it, saying her husband's skin is frail and bruises easily. She says it was him, in fact, who abused her, though she insists she still loves him and is willing to die for him if need be.

"He's the one I have loved most in life. There's no way I would hit him and even less chance of insulting his parents as I am a teacher and have to set a good example," she said.

Poom is pleading with her husband to change the grounds given in his divorce papers. "It's a matter of pride and honour, not money. If I am wrong I will agree to a divorce right away," she said.

Nonetheless, she claims that on the financial front, 1 million baht in royalties from his label Grammy have disappeared since the new woman entered his life.

"If court-ordered mediation talks don't go well I am prepared to pursue the matter. I am gathering evidence to prove none of it is true," she said.

In an emotional plea, she added: "If you can still remember this woman, stop doing me harm. Please think back to the day 27 years ago when you went and asked for my hand in marriage from my parents and promised to look after me well. Don't let lust get in the way or hide the truth.

"I would like you to think of me. If one day you have no one left and no money, I am still willing to look after you."

Chonlathee, however, is adamant he will go ahead with his divorce. He admits he and Kade have talked about marriage, but only in jest.

"She is more like a student paying respect to her teacher," he said, describing his ties with Kade, who accompanies him to public outings and is a constant fixture on his Facebook.

"You can't call what we have a relationship ... she sings my songs. We believe in each other. I am modest about my body. Some peope are saying I am just an old bull who likes young grass. I lose out when they say that. I am a national artist. I won't carry on in such a disreputable fashion."

For her part, Kade says she has never asked Chonlathee for money and doesn't harbour secret desires to bag his wealth. "I have worked since childhood and support my family. I also have an income of my own, and no desire to fleece him. He knows what is going on anyway," she said.

Siriwimol 'Poom' Thongma

Despite the fuss, she has no plans to quit looking after him, and in fact would like to do more. Asked what drives her to care for him to this extent, Chonlathee, she said many of his "students" look after him, not just her.

"I screen people to make sure I can trust them," Chonlathee said, adding Kade drives him about the place as his eyesight is failing.

Chonlathee's youngest child by a previous marriage, Naen, told reporters she thought Kade was trying to assert herself as a key figure in her father's life.

"I know what Kade is about and I have warned my father repeatedly. Sometimes it looks as if he is getting some awareness and might return, but then he goes back to her again," she said.

"He used to be open and friendly, but he's now he's closed himself up," she added. The row continues.

Custody row turns ugly

Actress Chutima "Tye" Teepanart has lost her latest legal battle seeking custody of her young daughter, with the court throwing out claims that her former husband harmed her.

Tye and her former husband, businessman and Future Forward Party MP Pita "Tim" Limjaroenrat, turned up at the Family Court last week. In an 11-hour hearing, the court rejected her claims she was a victim of violence and threw out her complaint.

Chutima 'Tye' Teepanart and Pita 'Tim' Limjaroenrat, inset

It comes after the court earlier varied a custody order awarding to Tim sole custody rights to the couple's child, Nong PiPim, aged three. Tye complained she was absent from the original custody hearing in February because court officials sent the summons to the wrong address.

The court agreed to rehear the dispute, and in its new ruling awarded dominant custodial rights to Tim, who will look after the child Monday to Friday. Tye will have custody rights on weekends.

Tye is unhappy with that decision, and is consulting seniors about whether to mount a challenge. She agrees one parent should have dominant custody rights, which she defines as a 80-20 split, but argues that parent should be her, not Tim.

Before Tim sought the court's intervention last November, the couple had agreed on a 50-50 split, which they agree was playing havoc with the child's sense of emotional stability and self-worth.

Tye declined to comment on detail on her latest claims, except to say she was seeking the court's protection against Tim. She conceded later his conduct did not involve violence.

"Violence may not have been an issue but he did harm me psychologically. I consulted the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and Social Equality Promotion Foundation, and asked if this was something which wives must tolerate."

The couple's dispute went public in March when Tye took to social media after Tim failed to hand over Nong PiPim at CentralWorld for an outing as agreed.

Pita Limjaroenrat

Speaking in response to the court's decision rejecting Tye's complaint, Tim said some news outlets were peddling "fake news" about the couple's woes.

"Some media outlets and lawyers are intent on trying to prolong the saga in the hope of extracting some benefit for themselves," he said.

Tye had said she would abide by the court's decision and there were no further court cases pending, he added.

Not to be toyed with

Singer Thanwa "ToyToy" Bunsungnoen is getting a mixed reaction after he stormed off stage during a concert after a patron grabbed him around the neck and tried to force him to take a drink.

Thanwa "ToyToy" Bunsungnoen

Toy was performing at a nightspot in the Myanmar border town of Tachileik last week when an enthusiastic patron bounded on the stage, grabbed him around the neck and tried to get him to take a drink. He was clutching a wad of money which another fan in the audience -- described as a local person of influence -- was offering him as a tip.

Toy refused to yield, and as his handlers grabbed the fan in a headlock, Toy threw his guitar to the stage and stormed off. A clip of the incident circulated widely.

While many fans sympathised with young Toy, saying he should not have to tolerate such boorish behaviour, some patrons in the audience with ties to the influential character who sent up his minion to offer Toy the tip were less amused.

They said Toy, who has a reputation for haughty, difficult behaviour, was arrogant to leave the stage and should have carried on with the show.

"If they were really unhappy, those por liang (local influential types) could have popped him off, but they didn't," one claimed. "But he should have come back and finished the show."

Others ridiculed use of the northern term por liang, saying it conjures up images from movies of cowboys with a retinue of gun-slinging hangers-on at the ready. "Actually, the guy on stage looked more like a duck farmer," he said, referring to his scruffy appearance.

Thanwa 'ToyToy' Bunsungnoen

Commenting on the saga, Toy said when the patron grabbed him around the neck he could barely breathe. Nor could he see clearly as the lighting was dim. Fearing for his safety he quickly left the stage, and later refunded his fee.

The nightspot, in turn, paid back patrons who had come to see him. He had no worries about going back there again, however, and brushed off claims he had acted unprofessionally.

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