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I have a temper, but I did not assault ex-staff: Entertainment lawyer Samuel Seow

SINGAPORE — Entertainment lawyer Samuel Seow has refuted allegations that he physically and verbally assaulted a former employee, following a police report filed against him.

Mr Samuel Seow, managing director of Samuel Seow Law Corporation.

Mr Samuel Seow, managing director of Samuel Seow Law Corporation.

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SINGAPORE — Entertainment lawyer Samuel Seow has refuted allegations that he physically and verbally assaulted a former employee, following a police report filed against him.

In an interview on Wednesday (May 16) — a day after TODAY ran a story about the police report — Mr Seow denied the allegations made by the former Beam Artistes staff, who is in her late teens. She has claimed that he had grabbed and pushed her to the ground, flung a metal stapler at her, splashed cold water on her, or threatened to “take a knife and kill her” on at least three occasions over March and April.

While Mr Seow admitted in the interview that he does have a temper and is not easy to work with, he denied physically assaulting the former employee.

He also questioned the “coincidental” timing of the police report, which was lodged two days after he had fired her last Thursday.

“If she did claim that those things happened, and they were so serious, how come no one noticed it… and why didn’t she go to the police to ask for help at that particular time rather than wait till she was terminated?”

Mr Seow, 45, the managing director of Samuel Seow Law Corporation, is well-known in the local entertainment scene for representing celebrities including former actress Michelle Saram and singer-songwriter Tanya Chua in legal cases. He also runs artiste management firm Beam Artistes, which organises annual beauty pageant Manhunt Singapore.

Mr Seow said he had initially hired the teenager in March as he felt that her work experience in event management, as well as her youth and energy, would be a good fit for his artiste management firm.

However, Mr Seow and his team realised that she was not suitable for the role after a few weeks and he had planned to fire her. He changed his mind after she asked for another chance, and he gave her a role with fewer responsibilities. He said that he had several WhatsApp messages from her thanking him for giving her another opportunity.

But he eventually fired her last Thursday as she did “a lot of things that crossed the line”, including allegedly taking a bottle of wine from him without permission and sharing it with the manhunt contestants during a photoshoot.

He also filed a police report against her early this week, alleging that she stored some sensitive company information on her personal laptop, and refused to return it after her termination.

“We have been asking for all these things back… but she has been uncontactable, so we went to make the police report,” he added.

When contacted by TODAY, the former employee, who did not want to be named for privacy reasons, refuted Mr Seow’s claims. She said: “The allegation is totally baseless. Mr Seow cannot make wild insinuations without backing up with facts.”

She added that Mr Seow had held back on terminating her contract on a few occasions as she was the only employee who could speak and write Mandarin.

While she admitted that she had made some mistakes in her work, she said it was no excuse for the alleged assault.

“If he wants to say that it's because of these mistakes that he is abusing me, that cannot be right. It's just not acceptable conduct for an employer and a lawyer.”

She also said that she had not reported Mr Seow to the police because she was still under his employ, and that she was “always hoping to resolve this amicably".

According to the police report, she also claimed that Mr Seow was allegedly involved in a dispute with a former employee from his law firm. A 30-minute long audio file of the alleged incident, which is making its rounds online, also recorded several parties urging Mr Seow to “cool down”.

Mr Seow told TODAY that the former law firm employee is his niece, and that the argument had taken place after office hours.

He admitted that he raised his voice at her after she failed to respond to his question, but she was the one who shoved him first, and he had then slapped her for being rude.

He said: “It was a typical family type of fight… but she was recording (it)… and I can only surmise it’s to show her parents what kind of awful uncle I am.”

The report also alleged that Mr Seow shoved another law firm staff who tried to intervene, but he denied it and said he had “accidentally” knocked her to the ground when he turned around.

Current and former employees whom TODAY spoke to gave differing accounts of their experiences working with Mr Seow.

While some former staff members had complained to TODAY about his treatment of employees and behaviour in the office, others came out to vouch for his character.

Several of them acknowledged that he had a temper, but Ms Susan Wong, who was a former personal assistant to Mr Seow, said he scolded his staff but was not physically abusive.

“Everybody has a temper… we are all human beings, but he doesn’t go to the extreme,” said the 52-year-old.

Mr Seow said in a Facebook post on Wednesday: “People can say what they want without any care for the truth. There are some very irresponsible and despicable people out there who will take some perverse delight in causing this.

"I am sorry to my family and friends for the worry this will cause.”

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Samuel Seow assault court crime

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