New wife stands by her man

MEDIA GLARE: Unlike the 44 men on Monday, Howard Shaw, who was on the cover of February's Singapore Tatler, didn't try to hide his face.

His family name is synonymous with cinemas in Singapore.

On April 18, he was the star of the show as he and three other men were charged with having paid sex with a minor.

Howard Shaw Chai Li, 41, is the grandson of the founder of cinema giant Shaw Organisation. On Wednesday, he was accompanied by his lawyer, Mr Wendell Wong from Drew and Napier, as he arrived at the Subordinate Courts in a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) at about 1.15pm, more than an hour before court proceedings began.

Unlike the chaotic scenes outside the building on Monday, when 44 men were charged with committing the same offence with the same girl, Shaw did not shield his face when he emerged from the car. He walked into the building as cameras clicked away.

On Monday, many of the accused had covered their faces with umbrellas, surgical masks, handkerchiefs, shopping bags and even changed their clothes as they dashed past the media.

The second of three children, Shaw is the younger son of Mr Shaw Vee King, the managing director of Shaw Organisation and son of its founder, the late Runme Shaw.

Well-known as a green crusader, Shaw was executive director of the Singapore Environment Council for eight years, until he stepped down last April.

He is now the senior vice-president of corporate social responsibility at Halcyon Group, an investment holding company headquartered in Singapore. It has businesses in rubber plantations and the offshore and marine sectors.

Looking visibly tense in Court 26, Shaw held hands with his wife, Madam Jessie Xue, 26, as they sat in the gallery waiting for his name to be called.

Just before the proceedings began, he slouched in his seat and rested his head on her shoulder. They held hands throughout. She looked weary, eyebags clearly visible.

But she appeared to be a source of comfort to him, her fingers gently and lovingly tapping his left hand.

At one point, they shared a pair of earphones as they listened to music together. They hardly spoke.

She would occasionally glance at the reporters on her left. But she never let go of his hand. His name was the first to be called and he got up and stood in the dock.

Shaw faces one charge of paying the underage prostitute $500 for sex on Oct 30, 2010, at Hotel 81 Bencoolen on Bencoolen Street.

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