While it didn’t quite reach to levels of Charlie Sheen’s recent notoriety, the feud between Stanley Ho and two of his wives and five of his children has concluded with a whimper, not a bang.
In a written statement issued by Ho in March, he said, “All members of the Ho family have reached full and final agreement based on the principle of ‘mutual understanding and mutual accommodation.’”
The 89-year-old Ho, who held the gambling monopoly in Macau for 30 years until 2000, claimed to have been hoodwinked out of his interest in SJM when he signed a document at the end of last year prepared by attorneys of two of his wives and five of his children—all the most successful of his 16 living offspring—Lawrence, Pansy, Daisy, Maisy and Josie. In January, Ho claimed that he didn’t understand what he had signed and demanded that his interests be returned. When it wasn’t immediately forthcoming, he filed suit.
The family feud was headline news in Hong Kong, where tabloid reporters and photographers followed every move of the Ho clan.
In the statement, Ho said, “All the Ho family members shall work together and discharge our duties to further the development of the company with a view to achieving greater contribution to the prosperity and stability of Macau, Hong Kong and China.”
The agreement last month puts to rest the dispute, but doesn’t end the mystery of who will ultimately succeed him as head of SJM, which controls at least 30 percent of the Macau gaming market. Ho had stepped down from SJM and appointed his fourth wife, Angela Leong, as managing director of the company, giving her a 7 percent stake, as well.
In late January, Daisy Ho stepped down as a board member of MGM Macau, leading to speculation that she would attempt to become involved in SJM.