Be careful with what you promise, especially when it involves money and was made in a moment of passion. This is one lesson Hongkong auteur Stephen Chow probably learned after getting embroiled in a messy financial lawsuit with his ex-girlfriend, socialite and heiress Yu Manfung, also known as Alice.

After ending their 13-year relationship in 2010, Alice took legal action against Stephen to claim millions of dollars in commission fees from his real estate investment profits. More details from both sides were revealed when the case went to court on Wednesday (Nov 18).

Neither Stephen nor Alice were personally present at the hearing and were represented by their attorneys. According to Alice’s side, the former couple had a business relationship in addition to being lovers, with Alice helping Stephen to handle his investments and funds while he focused on making movies.

On Christmas Day in 2002, they reached a verbal agreement where Stephen would give Alice 10 per cent of the profits from his investments in properties that she recommended. This includes three houses in Hongkong’s Beverly Hills neighbourhood and the hilltop bungalow he reportedly mortgaged a few months back.

In all, Alice was expecting to receive more than HK$70mil (S$12.1mil), but she claims she hasn’t seen a single cent.