Singapore Press Holdings says sorry to Nicole Seah for ‘dating married man’ story

AsiaOne says sorry

“We would like to unreservedly apologise…”

Singapore Press Holdings has issued a public apology to IPG Mediabrands executive and politician Nicole Seah for a story that implied that she was having an affair with a married man, because of a photo she uploaded on to her Facebook page.

SPH-owned portal AsiaOne implied that Seah, who is Second Assistant Secretary-General for opposition party the National Solidarity Party, was dating a married man in a story that used the headline ‘Nicole Seah uploads photo of her with man believed to be married.’

In body copy of the piece, AsiaOne reported that the man Seah is seen with in the picture, Steven Goh, was married between 2009 and 2011 – but is now divorced.

The story was later taken down after a public backlash in social media. However, Seah demanded an apology from SPH, threatening to sue the publisher for defamation.

An apology on behalf of SPH, written by AsiaOne’s editor Adrian Tay, reads:

AsiaOne would like to unreservedly apologise to Miss Nicole Seah and to Mr Steven Goh for any distress and inconvenience caused by an article posted on AsiaOne on Tuesday, November 26, 2013.

The headline of the article, “Nicole Seah uploads photo of her with a man believed to be married”, as well as the first line of the article which mirrored the headline, did not correctly reflect the rest of the article’s content, which indicated that Mr Goh, the man in the photo, is divorced and not presently married.

Adrian Tay
Editor, AsiaOne

Asiaone's take on Nicole Seah's Facebook pic

Asiaone’s take on Nicole Seah’s Facebook pic

The picture was first picked up as a gossip story on the Hardware Zone blog, which speculated that the man in the Facebook picture was Seah’s new boyfriend.

This was later reported by SPH-owned Chinese newspaper Lian He Wan Bao, with the headline ‘Nicole seah uploads photo with married man on Facebook’. AsiaOne’s story followed.

Lian He Wan Bao has since also apologised.

Seah is a senior account manager at IPG Mediabrands Singapore. She is giving a presentation on social media at an event in Singapore next week.


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