Man sues woman in $3 million lawsuit over trauma for 'friend-zoning' him

Even after 1.5 years of therapy, he still could not accept that she did not want to be in a romantic relationship with him

Mr K.Kawshigan filed two lawsuits against Ms Nora Tan after she cut off contact with him.
PHOTO: Getty Images

SINGAPORE — A man is suing a woman in Singapore for $3 million, for causing "trauma, depression and impacts” to his life when she rejected a romantic relationship with him.

The Straits Times reported on Tuesday (31 January) that K. Kawshigan filed the lawsuit against Nora Tan even after the legal action was kept at bay for almost one-and-a-half years as she agreed to attend his therapy.

When Ms Tan cut off contact with Mr Kawshigan after he still could not accept that she did not want to be in a relationship with him, Mr Kawshigan filed two lawsuits - the $3 million High Court claim for causing "damage to his stellar reputation" and "trauma, depression, and impacts" to his life, and a $22,000 claim for breaching an agreement to work on their ties.

The second suit was dismissed earlier last month, with State Courts deputy registrar Lewis Tan saying it amounted to an abuse of the court process as it was "manifestly groundless and without foundation."

"This court will not be an accessory to (Mr Kawshigan's) calculated attempt to compel engagement from the defendant who, after years of massaging the claimant’s unhappiness, has finally decided to stand up to his threats rather than cower and give in to his demands,” Mr Tan said in the judgment published last Saturday (28 January).

The Straits Times reported that the $3 million lawsuit is scheduled for trial on 9 February.

Problems arose over how they viewed relationship

The duo's friendship began in 2016, but by September 2020, problems arose over how they viewed their relationship. While Ms Tan regarded Mr Kawshigan as only a friend, Mr Kawshigan considered her to be his "closest friend".

When Ms Tan requested for their interactions to be reduced, an upset Mr Kawshigan issued her a letter of demand in October 2020, threatening legal action for "monetary damages arising from negligent infliction of emotional distress and possible defamation".

Even though Ms Tan told Mr Kawshigan in a text message that she was "genuinely uncomfortable.", he demanded that she either comply with his demands in order to deepen their relationship, or suffer "irrevocable" damage to her professional and personal life.

Ms Tan then agreed to participate in Mr Kawshigan's therapy sessions, as she thought it would help him cope with the fact that she was not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with him. However, after one and a half years, she stopped the sessions as she felt they had become futile.

Showdown as legal claims intensify

The Straits Times reported that Ms Tan began harassment charges against Mr Kawshigan in April 2022. In response, he alluded that he may also sue her, in a text message that had the phrases "damage that has strong legal basis" and "make your liability worse".

Ms Tan stopped communicating with him on 14 May, as she could no longer handle his demands for more interaction and his inability to respect her boundaries.

Mr Kawshigan filed a lawsuit with the High Court on 7 July, alleging that her remarks and negligence caused him to lose his earning capacity and business partnerships, along with the expenses incurred in rehabilitation and therapy to overcome the trauma he experienced.

Following that, Ms Tan obtained an expedited protection order against him and engaged lawyers to file a defence and counterclaim in her favour.

Mr Kawshigan filed the magistrate's court claim on 27 August alleging that the agreement to better align their relationship had been breached.

According to him, the breach has adversely affected his earning capacity as a "high-capital trader at night and a CEO by day" and forced him to seek deeper psychological assistance. Ms Tan then applied to strike out this claim.

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