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Martial arts star, convicted of parental kidnapping
Posted on Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 11:45 am
by IDMA Editor

Vietnamese martial arts movie star who complained she was sick of living in a Chinatown "rat hole" was convicted Thursday of parental kidnapping - a verdict that disturbed the judge.

Vietnamese movie actress Ly Huong, with her attorney Edward Kratt, outside Federal Court in Brooklyn after being found guilty by a jury of parental kidnapping.

The jury rejected Ly Huong's testimony that she fled to Hanoi with her young daughter in 2005 to escape an abusive marriage to her husband, known as the "King of Canal St."

Brooklyn Federal Judge Sterling Johnson said he would reserve judgment on a defense motion to set aside the verdict.

"I have grave reservations about the jury's decision," Johnson said.

Ly, 43, comes from a well-known entertainment family; her father is also an actor and considered Vietnam's Bruce Lee.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Soumya Dayananda argued that the defendant sought a divorce from husband Tony Lam on Vietnamese home turf "because of her famous name and her famous family."

There is no dispute that Ly's life in New York City was less glamorous than the celebrity status she enjoyed in her homeland.

In New York, she worked in Lam's pizzeria and complained to a relative: "I'm sick of living in a rat hole."

"You can't get out of a marriage because you don't have a stove in your apartment, you are sick of climbing steps and you live on Canal St.," Dayananda told the jury.

"You go down to Family Court -- you don't get on a plane and travel across the world and take your daughter with you," she said.

Defense lawyer Edward Kratt said he would appeal. Ly faces a maximum of three years in prison.

Lam, the owner of Bun restaurant in Soho, denied his ex-wife's allegations of philandering and physical abuse. "I am sad because either way my family is broken," he said.

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