A city man is seeking compensation because he claims his ex-wife confessed on a tell-all TV show that someone else was the father of their child, a Shanghai court heard yesterday.
Plaintiff Liang Chongshuai asked the Putuo District People's Court to order his ex-wife, Chen Yan, to pay him more than 22,000 yuan (US$2,750) to reimburse what he spent on the child and 50,000 yuan for mental anguish.
Liang said he married Chen in March 2002 and the boy was born in September 2004. The marriage, however, was troubled because Chen lived at home only half the time, saying she was involved in an outside business, according to testimony.
The Pudong New Area People's Court granted the couple a divorce in October 2005. Guardianship of the child was awarded to Chen, and Liang was ordered to pay 300 yuan a month in alimony.
On July 21, 2006, Liang said he was surprised to see his wife on a TV talk show called "Heart Garden," on which guests bare their souls about their love affairs and seek solutions to their relationship troubles.
Though the woman on the TV program wore a mask and claimed her surname was Lin, Liang said he recognized the speaker as his ex-wife.
The woman told the TV audience that she lived with another married man for nearly two years during her marriage and they had a son. But after she divorced, her lover refused to leave his wife and pay for raising the boy.
Liang said he had long been skeptical that he was the father of the boy as there was no resemblance between the two. After watching the TV show, he said he became convinced he had been cheated by his ex-wife because she divulged details that were similar to their situation.
"Now that the boy isn't my son, Chen should return the money I paid to raise him," Liang said. "I am seriously hurt by her lies since I devoted all my love to the boy."
He admitted he doesn't have direct evidence to prove he's not the father because Chen refused to authorize a paternity test.
The defendant didn't appear at the hearing yesterday. But her lawyer denied she had appeared on the TV program.
He also pointed out that the Pudong court verdict clarified the boy was Liang's and Chen's son.
Supporting Liang's assertion, a handwriting expert hired by the Putuo court to examine documents signed by the woman on the TV show concluded they were signed by Chen.
It was not immediately known when a verdict would be announce.
(Shanghai Daily March 16, 2007)