The great omega debate An engineer who claims he is the victim of a con job by a self-billed gay socialite has hit back at a cable TV presenter who says he was too dim-witted to see it coming.
Rath ‘Champ’ Rimpleekul, Tul Hempatawee and Saruta ‘Mor Oiy’ Reungwiriya.
Tul Hempatawee, 23, an engineer with a private firm, laid a complaint with Sutthisan police last week claiming that a self-described hi-so talent manager, Rath “Champ” Rimpleekul, had defrauded him of 9,000 baht for a singing and dancing course.
The complaint set off a tasty saga that has kept Thais entertained all week with snobby references to class “status” and youngsters who do not eat enough fish.
In his complaint, Tul said Champ had approached him outside the Paragon department store, asking if he would like to enter the entertainment industry. Tul said he would like to be a presenter.
He took Tul for a meal, and then to a photographic studio to have his picture taken. He also introduced him to TV presenter Saruta “Mor Oiy” Reungwiriya.
Tul said Mor Oiy was impressed with his potential and arranged a time for him to undergo a casting test.
“Champ told me that even if I wanted work as a presenter, I would have to take his singing and dancing course.
“I withdrew 9,000 baht in cash as his course fees the same day,” said Tul.
However, Tul said Champ failed to deliver on his promise. when he asked for a refund, Champ failed to return the money as agreed.
Mor Oiy went before reporters a day after news of Tul’s complaint broke. she said she was merely a friend of Champ’s, not his accomplice, though she admitted that Champ had sucked in many youngsters with such promises before.
“Young people these days do not eat enough fish … it contains omega, which is good for the brain,” she said.
“How could Tul possibly think Champ was a hi-so or a socialite, as he claims? You only have to look at the way he dresses _ fake, from top to bottom.
“I warned Tul that Champ was a fraud and told Champ not to swindle him _ but Tul insisted he knew his own mind,” she said.
Mor Oiy said she took little interest in the young people whom Champ brought to see her, though warned Champ that if he didn’t stop telling stories, she would sever their relationship.
Huai Khwang police in February arrested Champ on charges that he duped wannabe stars into believing dance and acting lessons at his “school” would help their chances of success.
Police said youngsters who paid course fees of 5,000-6,000 baht each, but had yet to find any work, had laid complaints at police stations as far apart as Bang Phongphang and Pathumwan.
The previous August, Mor Oiy, an actress, and a long-time dance school head laid a police complaint against Champ, alleging he dragged their names into a bogus cable TV venture.
Champ tells his alleged victims he is Mor Oiy’s manager, a claim she denies.
“Tul came to see me, three days after he paid Champ, to say he’d found news reports on the internet saying Champ had an arrest record,” she said. “He said Champ had yet to deliver on his promises.
“I insisted Champ was not my manager, denied booking in Tul for a casting test, and urged him to lay a complaint with police,” said Mor Oiy.
Asked why she associates with a suspected conman, Mor Oiy said Champ is a handy gofer.
“Champ is no hi-so or socialite, but merely homeless with no parents. He has no one to give him advice, and looks up to me as his mum.
“He carries my bags and takes me to functions when my boyfriend is not around,” she added.
Oiy said Tul was too quick to believe Champ’s promises. “By 3pm of the day they met, Tul was already scurrying around everywhere behind him.
“The reason why Champ has failed to make it in the industry is that none of the youngsters he approaches have any potential.
“They tend to come from the provinces, and to speak plainly, do not eat enough fish. Tul would have to undergo plenty of cosmetic surgery before even having a chance,” she sniffed, questioning whether Tul was really an engineer as claimed.
Mor Oiy said she was not prepared to invite Champ and Tul to speak to reporters with her, as they occupied an inferior “status” to her own.
Tul, who has found a measure of celebrity even without Champ’s help, responded the next day.
He told a cable television show that he ate plenty of fish _ salmon, no less, rather than any old fish off the slab _ and insisted he was not as stupid as Mor Oiy claimed.
“I graduated from Chulalongkorn University,” he told the show’s host, as he presented his graduation certificate for inspection.
“Chula!” exclaimed TV host Mod Dum, impressed with his guest’s credentials.
“I do not want to drag the name of my institution into this row, except to say that if it taught me anything, it is to show responsibility towards society,” said Tul.
“I am prepared to tolerate Mor Oiy’s criticism of my looks if it means alerting other potential victims,” he said. “I am proud of the looks my father has given me, and have not resorted to cosmetic surgery to enhance anything,” he added.
Mor Oiy said Champ had contacted her, pledging to repay the young man at the rate of 1,000 baht a month.
Sutthisan police say they will give Champ a few days longer to show whether he is prepared to refund the fee, or they will call him in for questioning.
Priya ‘Poo’ Suandokmai and Supachai ‘A’ Sriwichit.
Poo’s in deep doo-doo
Actress Priya “Poo” Suandokmai is attributing to “miscommunication” an apparent porky she told her manager about the new man she is seeing.
Manager to the stars Supachai “A” Sriwichit told reporters last week he was worried about reports that Poo, a member of his stable, is seeing socialite businessman Kornwat “Note” Chaiwirawat.
The two were spotted at a nightspot, with Poo supposedly sitting in Note’s lap. a asked Poo about it, but she insisted it was someone else, who merely bore her likeness.
He received the same response when he asked about other supposed sightings of the pair. Note is the former boyfriend of A-list star Patcharapa “Aum” Chaichuea, anoher member of A’s stable.
A said that no sooner had Aum announced that she and Note had split, than Poo was being seen with the man. “Poo is a big fan of Aum’s. she is like a member of a fanclub who buys a star’s cast-offs at auction. whatever Aum had, Poo must have too,” he said.
“I tell the young ones in my talent stable not to go out with each other’s boyfriends and girlfriends, as it only leads to trouble,” he said.
“Poo tells me it is not her. The woman sitting in Note’s lap wasn’t her _ nor was that woman spotted with Note entering his condo.
“They all just look like her,” he said, apologising in advance to Poo if he was speaking too directly.
“I’m starting to think I should ask Note for a contact number for this girl who looks like Poo. I could turn her into another star,” he said.
Contaced by reporters, Poo said she had no problem with a, who as her senior had the right to criticise.
She denied fibbing to a about the sightings with Note.
“The comment about lookalikes was a miscommunication,” she insisted. she still sees Note as occasion permits.
Aum, who said she is chatting to Note again but merely as a friend, said Poo was free to see whoever she wanted. “A is simply worried about what other people will think,” she said. “I’m not concerned if the two of them are seeing each other. I’d only be worried if Note still belonged to me, but we have split up.”
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