Sylvia’s 1h 40min Interview With Xiaxue Summarised: Ryan’s Alleged Cheating, Depression, Poor Dog Care & More
It’s been a crazy few weeks, at least for those embroiled in the saga surrounding Sylvia Chan of Night Owl Cinematics (NOC) - and those intently following the drama. A quick recap, for those who are still unfamiliar with what’s going on: First came allegations of Sylvia bullying her staff. Then came an apology, which was met with a dispute. After that, a whole exposé blog was created by some current and ex-employees of NOC, with additional allegations against their boss, including that of infidelity and misappropriation of funds.
After staying silent for a while, Sylvia has emerged to give her side of the story in a whopping 1-hour 40-minute Oprah-style interview with influencer queen, Xiaxue. That’s a pretty long video to sit through, so here’s a summary of the tell-all’s juiciest parts in easy-to-digest, bite-sized portions - as bite-sized as such a long vid can be without omitting the important details. There's also a link full of receipts supporting a couple of Sylvia's claims, which Xiaxue has compiled and uploaded onto Google Drive on Sylvia's behalf.
Do note that not all portions have been listed following the video’s chronological order - some sections have been rearranged for better flow of reading, but this does not affect the essence of the content in any way.
Read on for a summary of Sylvia Chan’s interview with Xiaxue!
Disclaimer: GirlStyle remains neutral and we do not side with Sylvia, nor are we against her. As we have previously written reports covering the other parties’ points of view from an objective stance, it is only fair that we cover Sylvia’s as well. All claims stated below are taken directly from the video and it is up to readers to make their own judgements and decide on whether they are true or otherwise.
How Night Owl Cinematics was run pre-divorce versus now
Photo from @ryanxgo via Instagram
- Sylvia has always been client-facing, while Ryan has been part of the “internal” process, so he’s closer to the staff than she is
- In order for the company to expand and become more profitable, Sylvia wanted to split the team up according to different functions, but Ryan felt that this would ruin friendships. This is where some of the unhappiness started.
- Previously, NOC was solely in Ryan’s name, and he had always been the highest paid in the company. In fact, his pay was at least twice that of Sylvia's. This only became evened out after the divorce, with his lowered and hers raised.
- Sylvia is currently employed as the CEO of NOC, while Ryan is the Sole Director. Sylvia owns 51% of the company while Ryan holds 49%. However, Ryan as the Director has the final say on company matters and the authority to do certain things such as sign cheques, which Sylvia cannot. These terms were decided upon during the divorce as a compromise of sorts.
- Sylvia has never taken a single cent for the past influencer marketing campaigns she has done for the company. She had always drawn a fixed salary, and all the profits gained through her endorsements would go straight to the company’s pool of funds.
- We understand that amidst the drama that’s unfolding, Sylvia has since stepped down from the NOC influencer lineup.
Sylvia addresses alleged lack of work-life balance, says blame on her is unfair
- Sylvia’s role has always been to make sure that the company’s various content verticals are profitable, and that NOC’s clients are happy
- If a client asks for a last-minute change for a content piece that needs to go out the next day, they cannot possibly say no
- “I do believe that the media industry in general has very flexible timing”
- Sylvia finds it unfair that the staff are blaming her for making them work late, because her job is to ensure that their deliverables are submitted. While some jobs have very tight deadlines, there are also seasons where they are “slacking around doing fun videos” due to a lack of clients during such periods.
- Late nights are apparently not the norm. Sylvia says “it’s give and take”, and that crunch time is usually only towards the end of the year
- “It seems like a very one-sided way to look at the whole industry, the whole schedule, and the whole year”
Sylvia clarifies her “bad cop” role, says it’s to protect Ryan
Photo from @sylsylnoc via Instagram
- Sylvia reveals that in the earlier stages of their business, a few talents left NOC and Ryan, feeling betrayed, went into depression. As Ryan’s wife, she then took on the role of the “bad cop” in the company in order to “protect the business” and “protect Ryan”. This is when, according to her, she started becoming a different person - someone that she didn’t want to be.
- According to Sylvia, Ryan is “very uncomfortable showing that he’s not a nice person. He has to be the nicest person in the room.” Thus when he is angry, he doesn’t show it, and instead entrusts Sylvia to do the scolding on his behalf- which she has always willingly done in order to prevent him from getting hurt.
- “I may be crass, I may be vulgar, but I have never been so angry and so hateful, and that was the reason why recently I went for therapy”
- “I’ve become very ashamed and I don’t want to continue to live my life as this person”
- Eventually, this took a toll on Sylvia’s mental health and she then asked for a divorce
- Sylvia says that NOC’s talent agreement is just like any other media company’s. Contracts are a couple of years long but talents are asking to have their contracts cut short, which would put the company at a disadvantage if they leave at their prime
- Sylvia reveals that NOC has over 40 people, and while a couple of prominent figures have left, there are still plenty of them quietly staying loyal to the company
Sylvia acknowledges the need to change for the better
Photo from @sylsylnoc via Instagram
- Sylvia recognises the way she had been living wasn’t healthy, both for her and the people around her. She believes she has changed to become a nicer person starting from early this year
- The turning point was when she saw her whole house littered in cigarettes and ashtrays after she picked up smoking, which made her realise she needed help
- It was hard for her to do her apology post as she had to look back on her wrongdoings. Despite her efforts to change, people are still bringing up things from the past, saying that she’s the same
- Sylvia was hoping the amicable divorce video would help them put things behind and allow her to move forward and be the person she really wants to be, but “I keep getting dragged back into Sylvia Version Sh*t. I don’t want to be Sylvia Version Sh*t anymore”
Ryan’s depression and multiple attempts to take his own life
- Sylvia reveals that Ryan tried to take his own life multiple times, and this greatly affected her mental health. There were days where she fretted about thinking he had already done it, all because she didn’t protect him
- He once came back soaking wet, saying he tried to drown himself at Yishun Dam
- Sylvia felt trapped and manipulated after a while, but she had to continue being the “bad cop” to prevent Ryan from getting hurt by others as he “cannot take it” when others hate on him. According to her, she did everything he wanted her to do just because she didn’t want him to do the unthinkable.
Ryan’s alleged cheating - “We have never had a happy marriage”
Photo from Night Owl Cinematics
- Ryan had a restaurant before NOC, and he cheated on Sylvia with a waitress working at the restaurant 1-2 years into their marriage.
- This was when the restaurant wasn’t even making money, and Sylvia was helping out for free as Ryan’s wife, washing plates.
- Ryan always sent the waitress home and Sylvia eventually found their shared email address, full of love letters to each other.
- Sylvia chose to be a “good wife”, and forgave him in hopes that they could move on together
- However, after starting NOC together, Sylvia saw that he had started repeating his behaviour with the female talents in the company, many of whom he considered his “best friends”. He would always want to send them home - even going out of his way to the Jurong to send Aurelia back frequently despite him not staying anywhere near the neighbourhood - and when Sylvia asked to tag along, he’d get angry and ask why she didn’t trust him.
- Ryan would favour the talents both on set and off set - from picking them up after a night of clubbing, having long dinner with them (without her), and leaving her and whatever they were doing to help them if their car broke down.
- Once, Aurelia did not want to wear a towel on her head for a sleepover scene as she felt it made her face look fat. Sylvia told her to just wear it and Ryan snapped at her in front of everyone and came to Aurelia’s defense.
- Ryan always tried to have Sylvia make friends with those people he favoured so that they could go out as a group. What were meant to be couple outings often ended up becoming group events, including the subject of Ryan’s fancy and “some other friends to mask the whole situation”
- Sylvia has never asked Aurelia or any of the other female talents to back off, and has tried to remain objective for the sake of work, though she does acknowledge that her anger manifests itself through her being extra fierce to them on set.
- While all this was happening, Ryan repeatedly rejected Sylvia’s advances to get intimate, saying that she was “too fierce” or that he was “tired”, which made her think less of herself.
- Despite constantly feeling paranoid, Sylvia says she tolerated such behaviour from Ryan because they had already painted themselves as this perfect couple in the eyes of the audience
- After the marriage ended, Ryan admitted that he had crushes on multiple staff members - the very same people Sylvia had suspected.
- It is not clear as to whether there were any actual confirmed cheating incidents between Ryan and the talents.
Infamous “sucking d***” incident - did Sylvia cheat on Ryan?
- Sylvia said that she has never cheated on Ryan a single time
- The “sucking d***” incident mentioned in the exposé blog happened when they were legally separated, and if this is so, then it means that Sylvia did not in fact cheat on Ryan. Though they were still living in the same house back then, they were pretty much behaving like strangers with separate lives.
Leaked BJ video
- It looks like her, sounds like her, but...it isn’t her.
- Sylvia admits that the person in the video has a striking resemblance to her, but also points out that they have clearly differing chest sizes, so, case closed?
Ryan allegedly registered Reno King as his own separate company behind Sylvia’s back
Photo from @ryanxgo via Instagram
- There has been talk of Sylvia and Ryan being embroiled in a lawsuit. According to Sylvia, there is no lawsuit, and neither party has sued the other. However, lawyers have in fact been brought in to help the ex-couple settle some issues (elaborated below).
- Reno King was supposed to be a brand under NOC, just like how The Thirsty Sisters and Sugar Melon are. However, it is said that Ryan went behind Sylvia’s back to incorporate Reno King as his own company. This means that all the profits Ryan gained from Reno King went straight to him, with Sylvia not getting any part of it.
- Ryan also has a Telegram group called Ryan's Promo Heaven, which he uses to promote good deals. He deals with the clients independently without the company, which he is not allowed to do since he is technically still being managed by NOC
- NOC’s account managers were allegedly doing work for Reno King despite it being registered separately.
- Sylvia has found the above to be a serious breach of Ryan’s Director duties.
Ryan wants Sylvia to buy him out for millions, which would render NOC unable to survive
- Ryan has stated that he has tried to resign from the company, but Sylvia did not allow him to.
- According to Sylvia, Ryan has wanted out of the company on the basis of wanting Sylvia to buy over his shares of the company at a very high price - a price in the millions range that would render NOC unable to survive.
- At the same time, he also wants to have Reno King
- While Ryan has claimed that he has resigned, Sylvia says he is in fact still the Sole Director of NOC.
- Ryan allegedly asked his staff to backdate his resignation to May, and got a new Reno King office on his own. If the backdate is agreed upon, then Ryan would technically not have breached his Director duties and Reno King can be claimed as his solo venture.
- With the current furore, people are calling for Sylvia to step down. If she does, Ryan would then be able to buy her out at a much cheaper rate of half price.
- This leaves Sylvia with only two options: Either buy Ryan out for millions and be left with a sinking ship that does not have enough money to run, or let herself be bought out by Ryan at a loss, and walk away with at least some compensation instead of nothing
- Sylvia did not agree to any of the above, and this is the main reason why they are currently fighting with lawyers involved.
Coincidental timing of “smear campaigns” against Sylvia
Photo from @sylsylnoc via Instagram
- Sylvia points out that each time she and Ryan are supposed to meet a lawyer to sort things out, fresh new allegations about her arise, and these are usually supported by Ryan’s closest friends.
- She believes that such “smear campaigns” come with an ulterior motive, as they could very well affect the settlement of assets in Ryan’s favour.
- By being painted as the “bad person”, NOC gets slammed and Sylvia gets the pressure to step down, while others are promoting Reno King for free because it belongs to Ryan, the “good person”.
Regarding Sylvia’s condescending demeanour in the Zoom meeting
- A video recording was leaked in the exposé blog, showing Sylvia behaving in a mocking manner towards her staff when they were bringing up their concerns
- This Zoom meeting actually happened back in August 2020
- According to Sylvia, Ryan has a habit of illegally recording people, and uses these recordings to threaten Sylvia so she will keep herself in check and not go against him
- “He knows me well enough to say things that will make me very pissed off”
- Sylvia believes that this recording had been planned from the start, and the rest of the meeting was purposefully cut out of recording, with only the angriest parts being shown to the public.
Sylvia’s clarification on alleged misappropriation of funds & brother Sikeen’s salary
Photo from @sylsylnoc via Instagram
- Sylvia’s home is actually one of NOC’s offices. She lives there, but the staff go over all the time for filming - even in her bedroom, which has a layout planned in a way that makes it easy for shooting. She likens it to how foreign chefs often stay on the second floor of the restaurants they’re working in as part of a package deal.
- There has been talk of Sikeen, Sylvia’s brother, being a “phantom worker”. However, Sikeen has always been working at NOC as a talent since day one, right from their very first video when they weren’t even famous.
- There were many times he served as a talent for free, and for a period of time, he was also the props manager and producer in addition to a talent.
- Even when Sikeen was stuck in Malaysia during lockdown, he did his talent jobs from NOC remotely
- According to Sylvia, Ryan has always hated Sikeen, and has even called him names such as “stupid idiot” and worse
- When they had two offices, Sylvia asked Sikeen to work at her office rather than with the others as she preferred them not to cross paths because of this. This perhaps gave others the impression that Sikeen was not doing any work.
On Sylvia allegedly owing money to NOC
- When Ryan and Sylvia decided to get a divorce, they both mutually agreed to return all the money that they had used for private matters by the end of that year so that they could move forward on a clean slate with nothing owed.
- Sylvia was trying to gain access to the accounts for her own reference, but accountant Xiao Wen locked Sylvia out and referred her to Ryan instead - despite Sylvia being CEO.
- Xiao Wen was one of the people also allegedly working for Ryan under Reno King despite still being under NOC
Sylvia claims Ryan doesn’t take good care of Porky
Photo from @ryanxgo via Instagram
- Sylvia maintains that Porky is the most precious thing in her life, and is unapologetic on the Porky custody issue. According to her, she’s always the one who bathes, feeds, and takes care of Porky, who sticks to her. She believes she takes the best care of Porky.
- On the contrary, Ryan seldom walks Porky and leaves the maid to cake care of her.
- When Porky was staying with Ryan, the fur on her face around her eyes, as well as her paws, were brown. (Photos in the Xiaxue video show this)
- Porky is terrified of other dogs. Despite knowing this and having shared custody, Ryan still went ahead and bought another dog, Mantou Honey, with his new girlfriend Cherylene.
- Sylvia was there when Porky and Mantou first met, and saw how Porky was super stressed - constantly going to the toilet, scratching the door, and salivating like crazy. She has thus rejected Ryan’s requests to allow Porky to stay over at his place, as she is vehemently against it so long as Mantou is there.
- Sylvia has said that she is perfectly fine with Ryan going over to her place to see Porky. She emphasises that she lives in the office, which he has the password to, and if he really wanted to see her, he would have done so by now.
The “unpaid work for chilli business” issue
- The person involved felt like he did a lot of work, with Sylvia not wanting to pay him. According to Sylvia, these were just discussions, and the team eventually decided that the the idea just wasn’t feasible - as can be the case for many business dealings - so the partnership ended with the brand never actually being launched
- Sylvia has never used his logo anywhere else, and none of the assets that anyone came up with were used in any way
According to Sylvia, the alleged sex barter trade never happened
- It was said that Sylvia allegedly set up an opportunity for a potential client to sleep with her NOC talent in exchange for free courier services. It is worth noting that, while this “barter trade” was mentioned in the exposé blog, there are no supporting screenshots backing up those claims.
- Sylvia has claimed that there were none of such happenings. According to her, it was simply a casual party, and she brought her NOC talent/friend along to introduce to the guys. She did not ask anyone to sleep with anyone.
- Sylvia has screenshots of the alleged “victim” telling her that she had a fun time that night
“Slut-shaming” incident was apparently taken out of context
- According the Sylvia, the “slut-shaming” incident happened way back in 2016, and was taken out of context
- The girl in question was thanking Sylvia for teaching her, and asking Sylvia not to abandon her despite her wrongdoings.
- Only the portions where Sylvia was being stern was shown. The part where the girl was receptive was omitted.
Why The Thirsty Sisters’ videos & IG account have been deleted
Photo from @ninatsf via Instagram
- Nina, who happens to be Sylvia’s close friend as well as Ryan’s cousin, is getting a lot of backlash from the public and has broken down many times because of this.
- When the drama surrounding Sylvia surfaced, The Thirsty Sisters - which Sylvia and Nina call their “baby” - also received a lot of hate
- The Thirsty Sisters YouTube channel and Instagram account have since been privated because the duo, as well as their producer, couldn’t bear to see this happening to their project. They wanted to protect the channel for sentimental reasons, not because of anything else.
Special mention to Xiaxue
Photo from @xiaxue via Instagram
Many accusations have been thrown around by multiple parties throughout the course of this entire saga, but no matter your view on the situation, we can probably all agree that Xiaxue is the real MVP here - for asking the tough questions, remaining impartial throughout, and being an amazing interview host in general.
We understand that Xiaxue has reached out to Ryan as well, but he has declined to respond so far.
The text screenshots supporting Sylvia’s statements have been uploaded here and labelled for ease of reference. Check out Xiaxue's full video below:
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Text by: GirlStyle SG