An and Thao in a photo shoot in 2021. Photo courtesy of An and Thao
“We don’t have any mutual properties now because An transferred all his assets to me,” Thao said. NgoiSao in a recent interview. “We accompany each other through life with complete confidence.”
An in fact mentioned having registered all his properties under the name Thao during a previous interview.
“Thao manages and decides everything now,” the businessman said, adding that his wife has the right to inherit all his properties if anything happens to her.
But that doesn’t mean Thao is financially dependent on An. Aside from her career in the entertainment industry, Thao is also known for her businesses, ranging from beauty salons to restaurants and recreational properties.
“I like to work and I know how to make money,” Thao said. “An’s lucky for that.”
Being an experienced businessman himself, An also encouraged Thao to start businesses because he saw his potential. He taught Thao a lot about running businesses and was always supportive, supporting her in all her endeavors.
Because Thao now makes a lot of money and “manages everything,” she also pays all of their family’s expenses, including their daughter’s college tuition, travel expenses and healthcare, according to the couple.
“An only spends money to buy land or build houses,” Thao said.
She added that the couple’s lifestyle was thus considered abnormal compared to traditional Vietnamese beliefs, which “rule” that the man of the house should be the one responsible for paying a family’s expenses.
She estimated that she spent around VND300 million ($12,300) per month on family expenses.
Speaking about the fact that they did not register their marriage even after eight years of living together, An said NgoiSao that he had repeatedly mentioned marriage registration to Thao, only to be refused.
“Thao considers marriage registration unnecessary,” said An. “She values more ‘real’ things like family life or how we care for and respect each other.”
Thao explained that she was thinking about affection and responsibilities [rather than legal documents] are what truly connects a couple. She considers her relationship with An already fulfilling because An has always taken care of her and their seven-year-old daughter.
And neither she nor An see failure to register their marriage as an obstacle to being able to raise a family and live a happy life as husband and wife, Thao said.
Thao, 35, is a famous model and actress. She has scaled back her activities in the entertainment industry since her engagement ceremony to An in late 2015 and is now focusing on operating businesses off-camera.
She and An welcomed their first daughter in 2016.
An, 61, was born in Ninh Binh, a city in the north of the country. His parents brought him to the United States when he was 12, and his childhood was not wealthy.
He worked in construction and real estate investment before moving to Vietnam. It is reported that he was divorced three times before marrying Thao. One of his former wives is model Ngoc Thuy.
Although they divorced 15 years ago, An and Thuy are still in conflict over a list of assets worth around VND288 billion, including real estate, shares and vehicles.
It is reported that as a holder of American citizenship, An was required to “register [Vietnam-based] properties in Thuy’s name”, despite the fact that they “were purchased with his own money [and not related to Thuy]”.
The HCMC People’s Court held a trial for the case in September after 13 years. The delays were due to the time required to obtain documents relating to the properties in dispute,” according to the court.
However, the trial was later adjourned again to “have more time to collect and verify the evidence.” The resumption is scheduled for October 16.