Hong Kong's top court on Monday threw out a feng shui master's claim to the multi-billion-dollar estate of late property tycoon Nina Wang, ending a legal drama that gripped the city for years.
Acting Chief Justice Patrick Chan upheld a lower court's ruling that Tony Chan's claim was groundless, putting an end to the bartender-turned-fortune teller's battle to prove himself as Wang's rightful beneficiary.
"The court has decided to dismiss the application. The reasons will be handed down later," the chief judge told the packed courtroom after briefly retiring to consider the application.
Famous for her outlandish dress and thrifty nature, despite being one of Asia's richest women, Wang died of cancer in 2007 at the age of 69.
She left behind an estate worth an estimated US$13 billion, which became the subject of a bitter feud between Chan, who claimed that he and Wang were lovers, and a charity controlled by her siblings.
Chan produced a will dated 2006 showing that Wang had left her entire fortune to him, including billions of dollars' worth of prime real estate.
But last year a court said that this will was probably a forgery and ruled in favour of Wang's Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd, controlled by her siblings, whose claim to her estate rests on a will dated to 2002.
"We are very pleased with the results -- this is cause for celebration," a lawyer for Chinachem told reporters outside the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.
Chan -- who was not in court -- could not be immediately reached for comment.
He has been charged with forging the 2006 will and is due to appear in court to face those allegations on November 25.
The Wang case has generated blanket media coverage in money-obsessed Hong Kong.
From lowly beginnings, Chan built a career advising clients including Wang on feng shui, an ancient Chinese belief system based on harnessing natural and spiritual energies.
The Chinachem fortune has been ill-starred for years.
Wang's husband Teddy, who started the Chinachem Group property empire, was abducted in 1990 and declared legally dead in 1999. His body was never found.
His disappearance kicked off a heated legal battle between Wang and her father-in-law for control of the Chinachem Group. She eventually won the case just two years before her own death.
Forbes magazine had estimated Wang's personal wealth at US$4.2 billion around the time of her death four years ago.