Laura Ashley boss ‘shocked’ at wife’s 1,000 pairs of shoes

Khoo Kay Peng is divorcing former beauty queen Pauline Chai

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The multimillionaire chairman of Laura Ashley today revealed how “surprised and shocked” he was to read that his estranged wife owned 1,000 pairs of shoes.

Khoo Kay Peng, 75, told High Court judge Mr Justice Bodey that former beauty queen Pauline Chai, 67, “loved to shop”. But Dr Khoo, who is based in Malaysia, had guessed that she had no more than 40 pairs of shoes. He said the last person he remembered owning 1,000 pairs was Imelda Marcos, the widow of former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos.

Dr Khoo is embroiled in lengthy divorce proceedings with Ms Chai, who was Miss Malaysia 1969.

Appearing via a television link from Malaysia, he gave evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Ms Chai had told how she owned 1,000 pairs of shoes when giving evidence at the hearing earlier this month.

“When I read the newspaper I was very, very surprised and shocked,” Dr Khoo told Mr Justice Bodey.

“How are you going to wear 1,000 pairs of shoes?” he exclaimed.