What this is : A summary of a close to two-hour video, where 33-year-old co-founder Sylvia Chan speaks up on her side of the story in the Night Owl Cinematics (NOC) saga in an interview with Xiaxue.
Contains all manner of bombs and allegations.
A separate blog was also set up to host WhatsApp screenshots that allegedly substantiate Sylvia’s claims.
Cast of characters
- Xiaxue, pioneer social media influencer in Singapore
- Sylvia Chan, CEO, co-founder, and majority shareholder of NOC. Ex-wife to Ryan.
- Ryan Tan, COO, co-founder, director, and shareholder of NOC. Ex-husband to Sylvia.
- Sikeen, Sylvia Chan’s brother, talent at NOC.
- Isabelle, Aurelia, Michelle, Grace: former NOC talents.
- Edmond Ng, business partner for Sylvia’s shelved chilli business, Ryan’s best friend.
- Xiao Wen, former Finance HR/ manager.
- @sgcickenrice, Instagram account that published allegations against Sylvia, sparking the saga. Identity yet unknown.
- Makes disclaimers: Video not sponsored or produced by NOC. Audience can decide for themselves after watching the video.
- Said she would be asking the hard questions.
- Believes Sylvia has the right to say her piece.
- Whole thing started around Sep. 30.
- Has been ongoing for more than three weeks at time of filming.
Xiaxue recaps what has happened so far.
How NOC is run
- Played an “external” role: meeting clients, bringing in the money, managing deliverables, being an account manager, sales manager, doing business development.
- Ryan was closer to everyone else in the company as he was in an “internal” role.
- After the divorce, Sylvia thought the company needs more functions/roles with bigger clients coming in.
- Trouble started here: teams wanted output that was fun but not profitable. Sylvia wanted to split up the teams.
- Ryan thought it spoilt friendships, but Sylvia thought it fostered a sense of ownership.
On ownership of NOC
- Holds 51 per cent stake but paid and employed as CEO.
- Person who holds ultimate authority is director, not CEO.
- Ryan has always been NOC’s sole director. He is also shareholder. Banks and cheques were all in his name.
- Has always been Ryan’s company since they set it up.
- Prior to divorce, Sylvia doesn't think she was listed in ACRA.
- Asked for 51 per cent during the divorce, as she needed her name to be somewhere since he is no longer her husband.
- Ryan paid the highest in the company throughout the years—at least twice as much.
- Ryan was agreeable to the 51 per cent so they don't "f*ck each other up": she gets higher share, but he holds the rank.
- Pay only turned equal after the divorce: Sylvia’s salary was raised, while Ryan’s was cut.
- No talent cut for Sylvia even if she appears in videos. All money goes to NOC, while she is paid a fixed salary.
- No dividends, money goes to company to incubate new programmes.
Xiaxue: Who is in charge of making talents stay late?
- (Doesn't answer directly) Says media industry is very flexible in timing.
- If client asks for something to be corrected and the video is going out tomorrow, there is no choice but to do it.
- Feels it’s unfair that they are blaming her because it is her job to ensure that deadlines are met.
- There are tight timelines, but also fun/slack seasons.
- Allegations make it a one-sided way to look at the industry, or that the demanding pace is consistent for the whole year.
On the ongoing lawsuit between Sylvia and Ryan
- There has been no lawsuit—said she has not sued Ryan. (Ryan revealed on Oct. 23 that there is an ongoing legal dispute between the two of them) .
- Has brought in lawyer to discuss but did not sue anyone.
- Tried to settle things among themselves but Ryan had new plans.
- Ryan allegedly incorporated Reno King as his own company in April 2021, behind her back, despite using NOC’s resources.
- Profits will then go to Ryan’s company, instead of NOC.
- Had a huge quarrel with him over this, felt that there was no trust.
- Initially worked out a deal for Sylvia to own something, but she found out that the account manager was passing jobs to him.
- Felt that it was a breach, and he needs to be accountable to her.
- Sylvia did not agree to the move, wanted Reno King to be a subsidiary under NOC.
- Sent a lawyer’s letter to Ryan for breach of fiduciary duties as director, among other things.
- Ryan allegedly has his own talent jobs outside of NOC, when he is supposed to be a talent with NOC.
On the saga being an alleged smear campaign
- New allegations kept coming up when she had to meet her lawyer and Ryan for discussion over the above matter.
- Thought it was coincidental at first.
- Admits to being very vulgar.
- Doesn’t know who is behind @sgcickenrice.
- Lists some close friends of Ryan: Isabelle and Grace went to Taiwan with Ryan post-divorce.
- He paid for the majority of their trip. Sylvia agreed that he should treat them.
Xiaxue: Did you suspect anything going on between them? (This was before he started dating Cherylene.)
- It's hard, he knows a lot of things she’s done that she’s not proud of, and vice versa.
- Cannot answer so simply,
- Not sure if he has done anything with them, but based on her experience, he could have.
On the leaked chats
- Privy to the group chats, knows who is in them.
- Same few names come up over and over.
- Cannot pinpoint to say who exactly, as there are so many people.
- Questions why there is so much hate against her: apart from a selective few, why would others have such a strong vendetta? What's the end goal?
- Already stepping down as an influencer , no more income from there.
- Questions why someone wants to completely destroy her. Who has motive? Who has anything to gain?
- Very coincidental that the allegations came up when former husband and wife are working out their commercial arrangements.
- Thinks Ryan has something to gain from this.
Alleged reasons for “destroying” Sylvia
Xiaxue: Does destroying you help Ryan in the settlement of assets?
- Ryan has to protect NOC as its director, cannot do anything that competes against it.
- Her strongest point when she sent him the lawyer's letter.
- Believes that Ryan wants to destroy her so she can’t fight against him.
- Sentiment now is Ryan appreciation day, people are promoting Reno King. It is immune to all these attacks.
Xiaxue: Light bulbs are going off. Does seem like well-planned attacks.
- Whole fight started because Ryan wants an exit from NOC.
- He allegedly wanted to be bought out at a very high price, in the millions.
- But company cannot survive or continue to run if it pays this price.
- Halfway through the fight, the drama happened.
- Everybody knows he claims to have resigned as NOC’s director, but he still holds the role.
- Ryan requested via email to backdate his resignation to May.
- If NOC agreed to the backdating, he would not have breached director duties.
- Ryan allegedly got a new Reno King office without Sylvia knowing.
Xiaxue: Would this smear campaign affect the lawsuit (repeated question)?
- If NOC is in deep shit, stock values goes down from S$10 to S$5 (example).
- Saga completely ruins her reputation as talent and CEO, and he will be able to buy her out at half price.
- Doesn’t know what to do at this point
- Trying to keep the company afloat
- Lost a lot of deals—S$250,000 gone in the first week.
- Ryan knows how much the company has lost and how much the payroll is.
- Over 30 plus people still remain in the company, needs money to pay them.
- These employees wouldn’t dare to speak up for Sylvia, and Sylvia doesn’t expect them to.
- Told Xiaxue she is “going to go to shit” just for giving her this interview and being associated with her.
Xiaxue: What is the plan for NOC now? Does the anonymous blog just want talents to be able to leave? But they are bound by contract right?
- NOC's talent agreement is normal, just like any other media company’s.
- What these talents want is to cut short whatever time they have.
- Company gives them opportunities and exposure, talents only make money when they are mature and have branding.
- If they leave at their prime, it’s a loss for the company, but people don’t see that.
- At this point Sylvia has no money to sue them.
On turning into a hateful person
Xiaxue: Why would Ryan destroy his own baby (NOC)?
- The Ryan that she knows is very different from the Ryan that the public or even Xiaxue knows.
- He's an emotional person—if he cannot fight and win on legal grounds, he wouldn't mind destroying NOC.
- End game: Sylvia walks out with a shitty reputation, Ryan walks out as a hero. These are speculations.
Xiaxue: Brings up issue of workplace abuse. Jianhao Tan mentioned “good cop, bad cop” brought to the extreme.
- Apology letter was the hardest day of her life. She knows that this bad person was not her anymore.
- She doesn’t want to be, and didn’t know how she became that person.
- Recently went for therapy.
Xiaxue: Why did you turn into the person? Was it to protect the business or Ryan? Why was there a need to protect Ryan?
- He was depressed when talents left in the initial years
- Believed that he was a nice guy as his wife then, although it was not an excuse to be a nasty person.
- She wants to change for the better, starting from this year.
- Was chain smoking two packs of cigarettes daily last year.
- Took a step back and asked herself, “Who is this crazy person?”
- Quit smoking and went to therapy. Feels that she has improved.
- Had to look back at the person she was during the apology. Very ashamed of being that person.
- Wants a chance to move on, keeps being dragged back into her old version.
On Ryan’s mental health
- Ryan has to be the nice person. There are times where he was angry, but the scolding was entrusted to Sylvia. She did it willingly. Became an angry person against everyone, as she believed that he was hurt.
- After years of this, Sylvia thought it was not good for her mental health, and asked for a divorce.
- Ryan has tried committing suicide so many times.
- “Do you know how it feels? When you really love somebody and they attempt suicide? There are days you think he's gonna die.”
- Ran around the house thinking Ryan has killed himself, because she didn't protect him.
- He came back wet once, tried to kill himself in Yishun dam.
- Ryan was either very depressed or trying to commit suicide.
- Close friends are part of the Ryan suicide watch.
- Sylvia felt very trapped and manipulated after a while.
- Had to do all those things so he doesn’t kill himself.
Xiaxue: The divorce video mentioned that you guys are still friends, and still treat each other as family. Is it still the same? Ok stupid question.
- Worried that this interview might cause Ryan to commit suicide.
- Ryan cannot have people hating on him, he cannot take it.
- Only doing this interview as people are forcing her hand, and she has nowhere to run.
- Have to speak up to protect other NOC staff as well.
- Can take the hate, has 10 years of experience.
On Ryan’s alleged infidelity
- Got married when they were both 22. So in love back then.
- Never had a happy marriage. At the start, yes.
- Ryan allegedly cheated on her one to two years into the marriage.
- He had a restaurant before NOC, and had an affair with a waitress.
- Sylvia was helping out at the restaurant for free.
- Ryan was allegedly always sending the waitress home, or giving her rides elsewhere.
Xiaxue: Asks for proof of the affair.
- Felt that something was going on, and almost “died mentally” the day she found out.
- Discovered that Ryan allegedly had an email address named after his and the waitress’ initials, which he used to send love letters.
- Sylvia saw all that when she managed to log in, but did not say how she managed to log in.
- His mum also knew about it, and the couple argued a lot about it.
- It was the first time he cheated: Sylvia “sucked it up” and forgave him as she wanted to be a good wife.
- Because of work, she made it seem like things were well between them.
- Ryan allegedly always had something to do with the girls at NOC.
Xiaxue: Let’s finish the waitress thing first.
- He promised he would never cheat again.
- Not very paranoid even after being cheated on.
- Mum taught her that she needed take care of her husband as a wife.
Xiaxue: NOC was known for having well-endowed talents.
- Was ok until she realised that Ryan was reportedly repeating his behaviour.
- He started sending people home, and Sylvia became paranoid.
- She tagged along at first, but Ryan apparently got angry, and said that Sylvia didn’t trust him.
- Ryan has a lot of "best friends" in NOC throughout the years, and was extra close to some female talents.
- Sylvia was angry, because he favours them on set.
- Ryan would send talents home late at night, go to Zouk to pick them up, go for long dinners with them, go to their help immediately even if he was doing something with Sylvia.
- Asked him to come clean about Aurelia (one of NOC’s talents) during divorce.
- Had a huge quarrel over her: Ryan apparently sent her home every night when she lived in Jurong West.
- Never told Aurelia to back off.
- Claims she has always been objective in using Aurelia as a talent. If client requests for the latter, Sylvia will still use her.
- But will be extra fierce to Aurelia on set.
- Once on a shoot, Aurelia apparently didn’t want to wear a towel on her head, as she thought it made her face look big. However, the look was created to fit the shoot’s theme, which was a sleepover with girlfriends.
- Ryan reportedly defended Aurelia and snapped at Sylvia in front of everyone.
- Such incidents apparently happened many times.
- Talents benefit a lot from Ryan’s favouritism. They go along to events and concerts that were meant to be a couple thing.
- The group for such outings would allegedly consist of Ryan, Sylvia, the girl Ryan likes, as well as some friends to mask the situation.
- Told Ryan to come clean at the end of the marriage. He mentioned a few names that he had a crush on.
- One of these girls allegedly pushed herself onto him. Ryan said he pushed her away.
- The girl was involved in the exposé, said Sylvia had caused her mental trauma.
- Sylvia revealed that it was Michelle.
- Michelle had allegedly asked Ryan to pick her up at night.
Xiaxue: Was Samantha one of the girls? That’s why you called her a f*ckface?
- Samantha was one of Ryan’s favourite contestants.
- He made Sylvia have dinner with Samantha once. Sylvia said she knows what he was trying to do.
- Sylvia tolerated all these because she was proud of being the golden couple, and needed to keep the image going for the YouTube channel.
On Sylvia’s alleged cheating
Xiaxue: Asks about their sex life.
- Not great, Ryan has always rejected her advances
- Said she was too fierce, or he was tired.
Xiaxue: Were you cheating on him?
- Said she was born in a traditional family, and her mum taught her not to do “this kind of thing”.
- Proud to say that she has never never cheated on him in 10 years.
- Would use it against him in an argument.
Xiaxue: How did it become this twisted? That the public thought you were the one cheating?
- Argued with Ryan about this all the time. Threatened to spill it in the divorce video, but Ryan knows that she wouldn’t dare.
Xiaxue: When did the fellatio (in the leaks screenshots) occur?
- Whole marriage was never intimate, the incident happened when she and Ryan were legally separated but not divorced.
- She and Ryan were not hanging out together even though they were staying in the same house.
- Sylvia apparently told the new guy that she really liked to wait for her until April, where the divorce would be finalised.
Xiaxue: But you couldn’t wait in the end. Sylvia laughs in embarrassment.
On the chilli business
- The idea ended, it didn’t work out in the end.
- Edmond (employee) felt that he should be paid for his work regardless.
- Sylvia felt otherwise, as none of the assets created were used.
- Talked about having private screenshots leak, how scary it is.
Xiaxue: Public image of you being a scary hateful b*tch—do you bring that work persona home? Do you feel it’s your fault?
- Used to think it was her fault, like she was not enough.
- Ryan would apparently subtly suggest that she could be better in a lot of ways.
- Sylvia started to believe that she was less.
Xiaxue: Can imagine the impact on your self esteem, especially when having to work with so many sweet young things who didn’t have to be fierce, and can act cute on set.
- Never asked Ryan to buy anything for her.
- Said she was frugal, and came from a village in Malaysia.
- Hurts that he spends the money on his friends. Not sure if he buys them stuff, but observes that they hang out a lot.
Xiaxue: Is it true that certain KOLs (key opinion leaders/influencers) are left out of the (NOC) deck?
- NOC has five to seven media kits
Xiaxue: Pretends to be a client as an example.
- NOC would send an all-in-one, generic deck that was most varied, but also simplified
- Tends to put the bigger names in this deck.
- Not deliberately trying to exclude some people from it.
Workplace abuse and mental health advocate
Xiaxue: Brings up her alleged workplace abuse and how it related to Sylvia’s mental health campaign.
- Says she is an advocate not because she’s good at it, but so that she can become better.
Xiaxue: Asks if it’s hypocritical of her.
- Said she’s not perfect. Unless you can only advocate if you're perfect, then you cannot advocate for anything.
Xiaxue: Mentions Sylvia’s interview with Quan Yi Fong. How she would fiercely deal with people who are late, but turns up late to shoots herself.
- Clear case of her being unable to be on time at the start of her career. Didn’t have the best punctuality.
- Learned that it really negatively affects others.
- Tried to be better, and is not late nowadays.
On allegedly misappropriating company funds
Xiaxue: Other allegations in blogpost: misappropriating company funds to pay for some bills and the rent of a shophouse, which she lives in with her brother. Amount allegedly totalled close to S$80,000.
- Said she was happy to answer this.
- Unit has always been marketed as NOC's office. Team goes to that office to work all the time. Exposé spun a story to make it seem like her personal abode.
Xiaxue: But you do stay there right? Shouldn’t you be paying NOC a rental fee?
- Justifies it and uses the analogy of a Malaysian chef staying upstairs (on work premises).
- People have shoots there, even in her bedroom.
- Great arrangement for her as a workaholic.
- Ryan has never disagreed.
Xiaxue: Asks if Sylvia owes NOC a lot of money.
- There was a list of debts that both she and Ryan owed to the company, that the accountant came up with when the couple got divorced.
- Sylvia wanted them to return the money to the company by the end of the year so they would be “clean”.
- Believes she has cleared her debt.
- Spent the day before the interview trying to clear her name, but the finance manager (Xiao Wen) allegedly logged her out.
- Didn’t know how to use the software, but was reportedly told by a finance executive to email Ryan if she wanted access.
- Didn’t do so as she felt that a CEO should have access to the accounts.
- Xiao Wen resigned on day the blog exposé came out.
- Doesn’t know what is legal or illegal at this point. Accounts are sensitive info, yet people think it's supposed to be leaked liked this.
On allegedly not letting Ryan see Porky
- Porky (their pet dog) is her number one, Sylvia is not apologetic about this.
- Bathes, feed and takes care of the dog. Dog sticks to her.
- Ryan seldom walks the dog, and leaves the helper to take care of it.
- Porky apparently didn’t look good under Ryan’s care, eyes and fur were brown.
Xiaxue: Repeats question of Sylvia disallowing Ryan to see the dog.
- Porky is terrified of other dogs. Ryan still got another dog (Mantou).
- Brought porky over the meet Mantou. Saw that Porky was very stressed and trying to get out.
- If Ryan wants to see Porky, he can come over to Sylvia’s house. But he apparently didn’t.
- Sylvia rejects requests for Porky to go over when Mantou is there.
Xiaxue: The Zoom video—you look kiampah , not interested. What was going on?
- Ryan allegedly has a habit of illegally recording people, and threatened Sylvia to release recordings of her so that she keeps herself in check.
- Not saying that her behaviour is the best—Ryan knows her well enough to say things that will really piss her off.
- He did not include the other recordings where she was giving feedback to the rest of the teams.
- Thinks that the whole thing has been planned from the start—the Zoom recording was from August 2020. Didn’t know she was being recorded.
Xiaxue: Is it true that NOC doesn’t have a welfare department? Feedback being ignored? HR packing masks?
- Xiao Wen was finance/HR, but worked for Ryan behind Sylvia’s back.
- Sylvia didn’t know what to do when took over.
- Went to HR consultancy last August.
- Managed to get a grant, and a HR person has been working in NOC for some time as a third party consultant.
On allegedly paying her brother a salary to get his PR status
- Brother has always worked in NOC. Talent since day one.
- Also a props manager, producer. A bit like a “runner”.
- They have two offices now. Ryan has always hated her brother, and called him very rude names.
- Sylvia therefore asked her brother to stay away from other people, and work at the second office.
- People who think she’s lying can check the bank statements. Accounting was always done right, her brother was actually working.
- Accusation hurts Sylvia because he went back to Malaysia during Covid-19, and carried out talent jobs while he was stuck there due to MCO.
Xiaxue: Why would the people behind this campaign say something like that?
Sylvia: Maybe an easy way to claim that she was being unfair.
Xiaxue: Claims of nepotism?
- This has to be proven. Brother was in NOC since day one. Before they even got famous.
- So many times where Ryan allegedly called him "stupid idiot brother", said rude things and put him down.
On the alleged sex barter trade
Xiaxue: Brings up sex barter trade. Sylvia laughs, presumably in ludicrousness.
- A trade must have give and take. NOC makes videos to be posted online, it’s not a retail company. No goods to be delivered.
- What can they send? There is no barter and no trade.
- Asks what’s wrong with introducing girlfriends to rich guys.
- She has never met those guys before. Courier guy (in the supposed barter trade) invited Sylvia to a party, at his richer friend's house.
- Sylvia asker her female friends to join her.
- Guy’s house was huge.
On Talent A
- Was alone by the end of the night, drinking coconut juice in the kitchen
- Didn't know where was everyone else, they were all adults anyway.
- Didn't arrow anyone to sleep with anyone.
- Has a screenshot of A telling her the night was fun.
Xiaxue: Why would A say that?
- Has no idea. Doesn't know who A slept with either.
Xiaxue: Talks about ongoing police investigation.
- Has launched police reports and a magistrate’s complaint. Six in total.
- Magistrate's complain: She was allegedly hacked.
- @sgcikenrice posted developments very fast.
- Was on a cruise, and checked if anyone was logged into her email. Saw two Apple products logged into it, but she doesn’t use Apple products.
- Has put CCTV outside her house. House is accessible to many people as it is also NOC’s office.
- Ryan has her personal password to her computer. She uses the same password for everything.
- Computer has everything, her whole life, client details.
Xiaxue: People have been asking if Sylvia is going to commit suicide.
- In a very special place. People she really trusted are betraying her very hard.
- People kicking her when she is already down. These are the people she has been working for. They have a career because of the company.
- Having friends that were hiding behind her just to stab her.
- Fingers became numb every time a new name comes up (in the exposé).
- Will ask yourself, what have I done to her?
- Takes it as a flush, a spring cleaning, to walk out of this with people who really love her.
Xiaxue: Screenshots of you lecturing a girl, telling her not to be a sl*t?
- Happened in 2016, it’s one thing that hurt her a lot.
- The girl was apparently thanking Sylvia for teaching her, and asking Sylvia not to abandon her.
- But only the part where Sylvia was scolding her was shown. Not the part where the girl was being receptive.
- Doesn’t want to reveal who the girl is as she has mental health issues.
Xiaxue: Why no more Thirsty Sisters?
- The podcast was something she did with Nina, who is Ryan's cousin.
- Nina is “getting a lot of shit” from her family for sticking by Sylvia.
- A lot of hate for the channel when the saga came out. Producer privatised it cause he couldn’t bear to see it getting attacked.
Sex video on Twitter
Xiaxue: Brings up the sex video on Twitter.
- Watched it on repeat for 10 times, questioning if it was her.
- Knows that she has never done this, but thought it looked like her, sounded like her.
- Was bombarded with so many things at the time.
- Confirmed it was not her when someone pointed out that Sylvia and the girl had different chest sizes.
Xiaxue: Why did you agree to this interview after keeping quiet?
- Mum lives in village, but this has gotten on Channel 8 and that is all they watch. Mum is very badly affected.
- Everything is out anyway. Interview is more for catharsis, rather than trying to achieve anything.
- If it's the last day of her career so be it, at least she’s given the chance to say something.
The influencers involved have responded to the interview:
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Sylvia Chan’s 2-hour interview with Xiaxue summarised in point form have 4769 words, post on mothership.sg at October 25, 2021. This is cached page on Asean News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.