'I got cancelled, criminalised and investigated by the police': NOC founder Sylvia Chan recounts her ordeal in new podcast series

'I got cancelled, criminalised and investigated by the police': NOC founder Sylvia Chan recounts her ordeal in new podcast series
In her new podcast, Sylvia Chan sheds light on what went down when she was being investigated by the police.
PHOTO: Screengrab/YouTube/Dirty Messy Free

Much has happened to Sylvia Chan since the saga involving her ex-husband Ryan Tan and former employees of YouTube channel and production company Night Owl Cinematics (NOC) broke. 

She not only landed herself a job as the regional head of content and intellectual property at global creator and entertainment company Gushcloud International, but also became a life coach. 

Now, Chan, 36, has unveiled her new podcast last Sunday (March 10) - titled Dirty Messy Free - with her life coach Daniel Lim.

The latter is the co-founder of Lito, a life coaching academy. 

Chan and Tan, co-founders of NOC, split in March 2020 when they were embroiled in a legal struggle after allegations arose that Chan had verbally abused her former employees and mishandled company funds. 

In the first episode of the podcast, which spans over one hour and 20 minutes, Chan shared how she was investigated by the police for 12 months. 

"I never imagined that I would ever go to a police station, and I never imagined trying to go there and defend myself," she said. 

She recounted being led into a "grey, steely and cold" room for the investigation for the first time, where she was told that there were more than 100 reports made against her, and that the entire floor of police officers was working on her case.  

Among the reports made against Chan, the embezzlement and prostitution allegations were the scariest to deal with, she said.

At the height of the saga, a blog post claiming to be written by former NOC employees alleged that Chan had misappropriated company funds to pursue other business ventures, reported Coconuts Media.

They also claimed she spent nearly $80,000 of company money on personal expenses, such as rent for her home. 

Faced with these accusations, Chan confessed she was worried about defending herself as she was not privy to the accounts at her old company. 

These were handled by her former employees, she said. 

While being grilled on the embezzlement charges, Chan said she had to explain various transactions from years ago which she had long forgotten about. 

"I had to dig through 10 years of documents to try and prove my case." 

She also spent over $5,000 buying old bank statements to prove that she did not siphon funds from the company. 

With the help of her close friends and family, she spent weeks sifting through 20 to 30 boxes of records to find evidence that would exonerate her. 

She also recalled being on the verge of a breakdown as she felt a growing sense of self-doubt as the investigations dragged on. 

Prostitution case

Chan was most stressed out over the claims that she had prostituted her former staff to seal a business deal. 

In the blog, Chan's former staff attested that she had offered the founder of an unnamed local courier service sex with one of the NOC talents. 

They wrote that Chan asked the person to attend a party with an "underlying agenda". 

During the police investigation, Chan had to trawl through various WhatsApp conversations and was asked to explain the rationale behind her texts, among many other questions she felt she did not know how to answer. 

Lim chimed in: "It's like seemingly normal, innocent everyday things can be misinterpreted in another way in light of that charge."

One of the things that helped Chan's case was a message showing that one of her former employees saying she did not want to attend the party. 

It helped to prove Chan did not coerce anyone to attend the party since the talents had free will to leave. 

"I feel like I was very scared and I couldn't defend myself in a smart way," said Chan, adding that she appeared to be grasping at straws to prove herself innocent. 

She did not elaborate on the other charges that she faced. 

"These two were the most painful, not just because of the length [of the investigation] and the seriousness of the crime, but it was painful because it involved people who knew the truth but gave the police a case that was completely fabricated." 

"I guess that the resentment [they had] against me was enough," she said. 

'Find better friends' 

After a gruelling 12 months, the police concluded their investigations and Chan was cleared of all the  allegations. 

Aside from the relief - she felt like a "normal citizen" again - what stuck with her during the ordeal was the advice from the police officer who handled her case. 

"Sylvia, find better friends," he told her, adding that he also shared with her how he had to verify every statement that was made from the various parties.

"If there's one person in Singapore who really has the full story, it was Mr Policeman... I'm grateful for the hard work that he put into finding the truth... He's the one who gave me my rights back." 

As for the people who made the reports against her, Chan said she was "shocked" to find out that they did not face any consequences. 


READ ALSO: Changing tracks? NOC co-founder Sylvia Chan is becoming a life coach


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