Ris Low, a social escort 'IRIS'??

This sounds like a defamation case if it's not true. What bothers me, though, is Ris Low's nonchalant attitude in this matter. She said she is too lazy to file a lawsuit?!

HAS Ris Low gone from joining beauty pageants to providing companionship as a social escort?

Last October, The New Paper received a tip-off that the 20-year-old dethroned beauty queen was signed under local escort agency Ambassador Productions, using the alias 'Iris'.

'Iris' was promoted by the agency as 'a former Miss Singapore' and sexy pictures of Low in a bright, colourful bikini were e-mailed to our source.

Vital statistics of 'Iris' were sent too. Her age, height and weight matched Low's.

When contacted, Low, who made headlines two years ago when she stepped down as Miss Singapore World 2009 after her credit card fraud conviction was exposed in the media, vehemently denied the allegation.

'Iris? Am I that dense to use such a name?' was her first reaction.

'Yes, I do go on one-on-one dinner appointments, but they were with my male friends whom I've known since secondary school.

'I'm not in need of money and I'm not contracted to any agency.'

Sounding a tad flustered, she added: 'My candid shots are all over the Internet. It's easy for anyone to resort to trickery...I think all these people who are spreading such rumours are just jealous of me.

'My boyfriend trusts me enough'

'Those rumour-mongers should just shut their mouths up and start thinking with their brains.'

With a sigh, the health science diploma graduate from the Management Development Institute of Singapore said she is aware that talk about her being a social escort has been circulating on online forums such as HardwareZone and Cozycot.

'This is not the first time,' she said.

It turns out, Ambassador Productions is not the only escort agency she has been linked to.

Lianhe Wanbao reported in January that netizens recognised Low in a 'topless shot' on another escort agency's website.

Even though her face was 'half-covered', netizens deduced from the figure of the social escort in the picture, as well as the written description on the site ('2009 local beauty queen'), that the woman in question was Low.

'Even my boyfriend has heard about it from his friends,' she said.

She has been dating a 32-year-old property agent since February last year.

'Thankfully, he trusts me enough to know that we are faithful to each other.

'Once, I even told him to pretend to be a client to 'book' me through one of those agencies that have been 'promoting' my services.

'He really tested it out. They even gave him a specific day and time to meet me and nothing happened. He didn't manage to book me in the end!'

Would Low consider taking legal action against agencies, such as Ambassador Productions, which have been using her name and images for their own benefit?

'About this matter, I did think about filing a lawsuit but I am too lazy to get down to it,' she said calmly.

'Sure, I was fuming in the beginning, but after I cooled down, I don't see why I should be spending money and time on these worthless issues when I have better things to focus on now.

'Some things in life, like the use of my name, are beyond my control...As long as my reputation is not affected too badly, I would close an eye to everything.'

In mid-October last year, following the tip-off, The New Paper sent an undercover reporter under the false name 'Mr Edward' to book 'Iris' with Ambassador Productions .

The owner of the agency, who calls himself Nathan, confirmed that 'Iris' was Low by sending her pictures to our reporter.

He also told our reporter that 'Iris' was 'previously in some trouble with the law', alluding to Low's credit card problems.

He then agreed to set up a dinner date for our reporter to meet 'Iris'.

But on the night itself, 'Iris' failed to turn up at the arranged venue. When contacted, Ambassador Productions' Nathan said she couldn't make it as she was 'having her menses' and offered our reporter alternative female escorts.

Subsequently, another two to three attempts were made to book 'Iris', to no avail. Each time, Nathan told our reporter that 'Iris was not free'.

Last week, we revealed our undercover operation to Nathan.

'Never part of roster'

In response, he said: 'Ris was never part of our roster of social escorts; she was never (advertised) on our website proper.

'I did have a friend who knew Ris, so when clients asked for her, I'd get my friend to try and seek out her services.'

Nathan declined to reveal whether there were any successful dates booked with Low. He added that he does not approach his friend for Low's services now as she is 'too high-profile'.

With her acting career taking off, it's no wonder Low is keen to put her troubled past behind.

'Very soon, I would be stepping into adulthood, marking the end of my teenage life,' said Low, who will turn 21 in May.

'Getting myself into turmoil should not be my objective anymore.'

Lawyer Amolat Singh, whom The New Paper spoke to, agreed it would be difficult for Low to sue the escort agencies for defaming her.

He said: 'Defamation is a costly and very complex area in law. Ris has to be able to prove that the agencies, by labelling her as a social escort, have lowered her character and standing in society.

'It'd be tougher for her as she has been in the public eye for her previous conviction...Her record is not entirely stain-free.'



Meet Ris Low, 'assassin'

CAREER-WISE, things are certainly looking up for Ris Low.

She has a cameo role as a recovering stalker in local romantic comedy Forever, currently showing in theatres and co-starring local actress-singer Joanna Dong and Taiwanese actor Mo Tzu-Yi.

In two weeks' time, she will begin filming another local movie, the action thriller The Magnum, in which she plays the lead.

According to The Magnum's director C J Harvaraj, 'the cast will include some American actors'.

The movie is slated for release at the end of thisyear.

Director Wee Li Lin, who helmed Forever, said Low was 'very sweet and professional'.

'We decided to cast Ris as we were looking for actresses who were larger than life,' said Wee.

'Ris is tall, sporty, and has a strong screen presence.

'More importantly, she was bold and not afraid to poke fun or laugh at herself... she certainly has the talent for comedy.'

Echoing sentiments about Low's acting potential was Harvaraj.

He told The New Paper that Low performed 'very well' during the teaser shoot of The Magnum, adding that the production crew is currently putting her through 'karate classes', to get her ready for the movie's slew of fighting scenes.

Harvaraj said he was 'unable to reveal the storyline of the movie at this point', but said that Low is playing anassassin.

Surprise

He said: 'This movie will surprise audiences, especially people who are familiar with Ris. It's not comical, but serious and emotional.'

Low, too, expressed her excitement at playing a character who kicks butt.

'Yes, The Magnum will be action-packed and the role portrays a side of me that the public does not normally see,' she said.

'I am serious about this project... with my commitment and hard work, I am confident that the end result will be positive.

'I'll give it my best shot and show the world what this girl can do.'

From the New Paper, "Shut up and use your brains".

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