HONG KONG?Aging tycoon Stanley Ho filed a new lawsuit against relatives Wednesday to keep control of his vast Macau casino empire, the latest chapter in a bitter feud within his sprawling family.
Under the lawsuit, about two weeks after Ho dropped an earlier suit against family members, Ho is seeking an injunction against five defendants, including daughters Daisy and Pansy and a firm controlled by his third "wife," Ina Chan.
Ho's giant clan comprises 17 children born to four women, although the now 89-year-old tycoon reportedly only married the first two women.
"Dr. Ho is very, very annoyed, very, very disappointed," his lawyer Gordon Oldham told reporters as he announced the claim filed in Hong Kong's High Court.
Pansy and Daisy "have been reluctant to come forward to negotiate. They don't want to talk to their father," he added.
The saga has seen Ho ? a one-time playboy considered the father of Macau's casino scene ? battling two branches of his family over SJM Holdings, the centerpiece of a fortune worth at least $3.1 billion.
Macau, a former Portuguese colony and the only city in China to allow casino gambling, is the world's biggest gaming hub, with $23.5 billion wagered at its tables last year.
The feud centers on a contentious share transfer that would give Ho's second and third families control of SJM through a holding company called Lanceford.
The transfer sparked howls of protest from other branches of Ho's family, with the tycoon himself describing it as "robbery" at one stage.
A press statement issued by Oldam Wednesday described the latest legal action as "regrettable" but said the tycoon was left with "no other option."
"It has become clear that not all (family) members are ready to resolve the dispute and abide by their father's wishes (to distribute the assets equally)," it said.
"Promises made by Pansy and Daisy Ho to return Lanceford Company Limited back to Dr. Ho have been broken," it said, adding that the pair "do not intend to keep to their word."
The claim comes after Ho dropped an earlier action over the same share transfer. The cancellation of that case followed a bizarre television appearance in which the frail tycoon ? surrounded by some of the relatives he was suing ? read from a giant cue card to say the spat had been resolved.
Ho later claimed to have been coerced by relatives.
The earlier claim named 11 defendants, including Ho's second wife, Lucina Laam, his third "wife" and five children. Two of the children, Pansy and Lawrence, run rival gambling concessions in Macau.