Saturday, December 27, 2008

It’s confirmed, there’s trouble brewing

Thai Takes

LATELY, Saranrat “Lydia” Wisutthithada, the Thai R&B singer with a sultry face, has been in distress because the public has become fascinated with her stomach.

“Since last month, whenever I leave home, people look at my stomach, not my face, and asked if I am pregnant or whether I have had an abortion,” a weeping Lydia said on national television early this month.

“People call my mother and ask her constantly. My whole family is tense.”

The 21-year-old singer’s “pregnancy” ordeal started after celebrity fortune teller Mor Krit Confirm (whose trademark is ending his predictions with the word “confirm”) confirmed that Lydia was pregnant.

Mor Krit’s prediction fanned the soosip (Thai slang for gossip) on Lydia and the nature of her relationship with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who recently divorced Pojaman, his wife of 32 years.

The tabloid speculated that Thaksin had split up with the mother of his three children so that he could marry Lydia and raise her baby.

The singer, however, denied the soosip, saying she was in contact with Thaksin (whom she calls “dad”), and she was definite that the billionaire politician was not interested in tying the knot with her.

That is not the first time Lydia had to deny Thaksin-related soosip. On Sept 7 last year, the singer caused a stir in the region when she declared that she was not his gig (Thai slang for part-time lover).

Mor Krit (whose real name is Sukrit Patumdhsriwiroj), 23, is an aggressive celebrity upstart who is in a hurry to be famous. And he claims to have accurately read the fortunes of 40,000 people.

He became famous when he “confirmed” that a little-known Thai actress Amita “Nan” Chinsumrej was not pregnant although she herself claimed that she was.

Later, a tearful Nan confessed that she had made up the story about her having given birth to a baby girl so that she could become famous and also to publicise her kiss-and-tell book.

However, on Dec 15, Mor Krit’s fortune telling abilities deserted him when he could not “confirm” what would happen to him on that day.

The fortune teller, who claimed that 50 out of his 53 forecasts on high-profile people were accurate, was invited to speak about his Lydia pregnancy prediction in an event organised by a Thai gossip newspaper in Bangkok’s Siam Paragon shopping mall.

At the event, he was verbally attacked by Lydia’s mother, Sansanee.

“Who asked you to tell her (fortune)? Who gave you permission?” Sansanee demanded, according to the Bangkok Post.

“I am just doing my job,” he replied meekly into his microphone.

“Well, I’m doing my job as her mum, too (protecting Lydia),” Sansanee said.

Mor Krit quickly apologised, giving her a wai (a respectful Thai greeting).

But Lydia’s mother was not satisfied, and shouted: “If you’re sorry, then get down on your knees.”

The fortune teller was about to kraab (Thai for prostrate) himself in front of Sansanee but the organiser quickly hustled him off stage.

The next day, Mor Krit had an inkling of what was coming. He had read his own stars, according to the Bangkok Post, and he could see himself giving evidence in his defence (in a legal suit).

Confirmed. Lydia filed a 50 million baht (RM5mil) suit against him over the “pregnant” forecast.

So far, Mor Krit’s defence for his “mistake” is that the media read too much into his prediction.

“All I said was that there is a chance she could get pregnant. I didn’t say with certainty that she was pregnant,” the Bangkok Post reported him as saying.

In a television interview, the fortune teller said that week was his worst in his life. He had become famous, but at a price.

“My whole world has changed and I feel as if I hardly know myself anymore,” he told the host.

“People say I am sarcastic, arrogant, poorly brought up. I have cried many times and lost sleep,” said the fortune teller.

Mor Krit also admitted he never thought that his prediction that Lydia might be pregnant might cause so much distress to Lydia.

And he “confirmed” that he would like to apologise for his inaccurate prediction.

(Published in The Star on December 27, 2008. Photograph of Lydia courtesy of The Nation)