SINGAPORE — It is certainly sad and embarrassing for someone to be “friend-zoned” by their crush, rather than crying over a drink or going for a trip to forget about it, K. Kawshigan decided to sue his friend in Singapore High Court for “friend-zoning” him in their relationship, asking for S$3 million for the “emotional trauma” he suffered.
Kawshigan also claimed in the Magistrate Court suit for another S$22,000 in special damages on 27 August, alleging that his earning capacity as an “active high-capital trader by night and a busy CEO by day” has been negatively affected.
He is the Chief Executive Officer of D1 Racing and also appears to be the Business Development Manager at AeroLion Technologies
The High Court suit is fixed for a case conference in February.
According to CNA, the lawsuit in the Magistrate’s Court was struck out by deputy registrar Lewis Tan on Tuesday (28 January), who called the civil suit an abuse of process.
Mr Tan stressed that the court would not be an accessory to Kawshigan’s “calculated attempt to compel engagement” from Ms Tan.
Kawshigan began his friendship with Ms Nora Tan Shu Mei in 2016. But problems arose around September 2020 over how they viewed their relationship.
He saw Ms Tan as his “closest friend”, while Ms Tan only regarded him as only a friend. Ms Tan had requested to reduce their interaction and emphasised the need for boundaries.
She urged Kawshigan to be “self-reliant” and tried to reason with him, telling him that her “discomfort is genuine”.
However, Kawshigan felt upset about this “set back” in their relationship, replied: “Your discomfort is as fake as the cause.”
“You are the cause of my trauma”
According to exchanges laid out in the judgment, he said: “Don’t you get it? I don’t care about you anymore from here on. From now on, you are the Respondent and I am the Claimant. And emotionally, till the day I die, you are the cause of my trauma.”
Weeks after this, Ms Tan was asked by a woman claiming to be Kawshigan’s counsellor to participate in his therapy sessions.
Ms Tan agreed, as she thought it might him to come to terms with their relationship. She kept up with the therapy sessions for one-and-a-half years but stopped thereafter as she felt the sessions bore little fruit.
Ms Tan had also grown unable to deal with Kawshigan’s “unreasonable requests”, then she initiated harassment proceedings against him in April 2022.
In response, Kawshigan alluded that he may also sue her in a text message, using terms like “duty of care”, “damage that has strong legal basis” and “make your liability worse”.
“In a nutshell right, my hurt … the portion that is affected by your ways. Is the due process that you don’t follow in assisting to prevent the harm I’ve gone through. A lot of harm could have been avoided if you followed the other side of due process, ” he wrote.
Ms Tan later sent Kawshigan a list of improvements, these included “safeguarding your don’ts”, “not trivialising your pain and hurt”, and “meeting up based on mutual availability, beyond coffee settings”.
However, Ms Tan stopped communicating with Kawshigan on 14 May, as she could no longer deal with his unreasonable request.
There was significant conflict between them while she wished to maintain boundaries, but Kawshigan insisted on increased interaction.
For example, he insisted “detailed sharing” when meeting up, and later asked to go out for a long weekend. When rejected by Ms Tan, he said, “I think you know how badly I need meetups. It’s been long overdue and it’s affecting me.”
Kawshigan saw this as “breaches” of the agreement that caused him “hurt”.
Filed lawsuit in High Court
On 2 June, he sent Ms Tan a letter informing her that he was making an offer of amicable resolution before he commenced a civil action. Ms Tan did not reply.
He later initiated the High Court action against Ms Tan on 7 July, claiming damages in excess of S$3 million for her allegedly defamatory remarks and negligent conduct.
The S$3 million figure also included “indefinite loss of potential investments”, amounting to S$1.2 million.
Kawshigan claimed Ms Tan suggesting that he had harassed and spied on her, caused him to suffer damage to his “stellar reputation”.
In defence, Ms Tan engaged lawyers and counterclaimed in her favour. She also obtained an expedited protection order against Kawshigan.
Ms Tan stated that she was a victim of Kawshigan’s harassment. The latter had threatened her to maintain communications with him or face civil proceedings and or police action.
Special damages suit dismissed by Magistrate Court
On 28 January, Deputy registrar Lewis Tan struck out Kawshigan’s special damages suit.
Borrowing Ms Tan’s word, Mr Tan said Kawshigan commenced the suit because he was unable to accept the fact that Ms Tan no longer wants to have contact with him in any way.
“The body of evidence collectively reveal his tendency to resort to legalese and raise threats of litigation to compel compliance from the defendant,” Mr Tan said.
“While he had been successful before, it appears that the defendant is now resolved to stand up against his threats. Faced with the mounting evidence against him, the claimant has not provided any evidence in his bare affidavit to shine a different light on the picture painted.”
The court ordered Kawshigan to pay costs of S$14,000 plus GST and disbursements to Ms Tan.
Police reports have been lodged for cancelled NYE by D1 Racing
Perhaps the “emotional trauma” really affected Kawshigan’s capacity as a CEO, as he claims in his suit against Ms Tan.
Police reports have been filed by ticket buyers of a New Year’s Eve countdown organised by D1 Racing after it was cancelled three days before the event.
Tickets were priced at S$88, S$128 for VIPs and S$168 for those who wish to meet the DJs.
According to the email shared by Min Khant Maung Maung who bought tickets for the cancelled event, the event was cancelled by D1 Racing due to the pulling out of DJ Jade Rasif and her replacement.
However, Rasif told The Straits Times that she only found out she was one of the featured acts only from D1 Racing’s Facebook advertisement, and that she then asked the organiser for payment and assurance that it had the necessary licences for the event.
She added: “We reminded the organisers that my attendance was not confirmed until we received a deposit and conducted due diligence, and requested they stop using me in ads until then.
“We ceased any further negotiations with D1 after realising some inaccuracies in their contract.”
The 28-year-old, who is also a social media influencer, said the organiser did not have permission to use pictures of her in its promotion, and was told four times to remove them but did not do so.
Responding to ST queries, D1 Racing said the event had to be cancelled due to drastic changes — which was attributed to the withdrawal of Rasif and her replacement, as stated in the email to ticket buyers.
Ticket buyers such as Min Khant Maung Maung have been told that they were given 100 per cent off for the next event in 2023 in return of their cancelled ticket.
The buyers told ST that they had contacted the organiser immediately after receiving the e-mail to say that he and his friends were not interested in attending the 2023 event, and wanted a refund instead.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get any mail back from the event organisers. They just disappeared, and we didn’t hear a word back about any future event or possibility of a refund,” he said.
Facebook posts of the event have been removed. Even Kawshigan’s profile on Linkedin is no longer accessible.