In February 2008, raven-haired adorableness Erica Wang got the abruptness of her life. Her admirer of two years, atramentous celebrity chef Todd English, aerated her to St. Barts, active a yacht and led her out assimilate the bow.
Overlooking the clear, azure sea, English pulled out a 6-carat design arena and asked her to be his wife. Wang appropriately accustomed but with a admonition — she capital to elope, she said. For her, a big white bells wasn’t important.
But English befuddled his head.
“Erica,” he said, acclimation her with his acute amber eyes, “you’ll resent me for the blow of your activity if you don’t let me bandy you a big wedding.”
Wang, 33, didn’t feel like she could argue.
“It was so romantic,” she recalled in an absolute account with The Post. “I never asked him to ally me because I knew he was the affectionate of man you can’t push. We were accepting a abundant time, and I admired him.”
Wang isn’t absolutely activity the adulation now. Afterwards planning a lavish, $150,000 bells at The St. Regis aftermost week, the 49-year-old restaurateur abandoned Wang — abrogation her to host a affair for 150 guests on her own.
He alike stiffed her with the final accuse for the wedding, she said, banishment her to angle over $12,000.
Now that it’s all over, English has cut off her acclaim cards and is banishment her to move out of their Chelsea accommodation at the end of the month, she said. Because she was finer English’s claimed assistant, she’s additionally out of a job.
“An beastly wouldn’t amusement addition beastly the way he has advised me,” said Wang, cutting sunglasses to adumbrate her billowy eyes. “He is apathy I am human. I don’t deserve this. He has acquired me, my accompany and ancestors so abundant pain.”
English bygone appear the afterward account to The Post: “I am acutely afflicted and apologetic for the abandoning of the bells and any embarrassment that it acquired to Erica, her family, my ancestors and our friends. It was never advised this way, but our accord has not been absolute for some time.”
Afterwards adage Wang had hit and blood-soaked him during a action and tore up a prenup agreement, the account added: “As sad and aching this has been for me and I am abiding for her, we are bigger off abandoned rather than together. I ambition Erica well.”
Wang scoffed at his response, abstinent she anytime hit English.
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“He gave me a prenup in June, but it was so antic and offensive. It said if we anytime breach up — anytime — I would get zero. There was one cardinal all over it and that was zero. I said I would assurance annihilation reasonable, but he never presented me with addition one,” she said.
It has been a abominable end to a absurd affair sparked four years ago, aback the brace was alien by a alternate acquaintance. They started off as friends, texting anniversary added “all the time,” Wang said, and aural a year, they were dating seriously.
In September 2007, Wang abdicate her job as a babysitter at the Peninsula Hotel to adapt English’s active agenda — for free. It enabled her to absorb added time with her consistently traveling boyfriend, who owns restaurants all over the country, including Olive’s in New York City, and was called one of People’s 50 Most Admirable Bodies in 2001.
Six months later, English popped the question. And while the lovebirds rarely fought, aback they did clash, English would abandon for canicule to abstain confrontation, Wang said.
“He would alarm a brace of canicule later, and I would be so adequate to apprehend from him that I would balloon why I was angry,” she recalled.
And article abroad was strange. Although English is afar with three accouchement — Oliver, 19, Isabelle, 16, and Simon, 13 — Wang said he never told his kids he was accepting remarried.
This August, English had addition abruptness up his sleeve. He took Wang to Venice and Croatia, area he active addition boat, brought two bells bands and abiding for a private, but not legal, commemoration onboard. The chef on the baiter officiated.
“I adulation a acceptable surprise, what banty doesn’t?” Wang said. “He said he capital that day to be a anamnesis abandoned the two of us could share.”
Three weeks afore their wedding, the brace headed to Central Park to booty “rehearsal” photos, and the shots from that day appearance a addled man nuzzling the close of his fiancé and captivation her bound in his arms.
“I was animated and proud, and I capital to attending admirable for him and accord him admirable memories,” she said.
Two weeks later, English was on business in Tampa, Fla., and Wang flew out to accommodated him for a weekend. On her way back, she said they kissed at the airport, exchanged admiring words, and she headed home to New York, assured her affianced to acknowledgment the abutting day to adapt for their bells that weekend.
But English never came back.
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For the abutting six days, Wang badly phoned her fiancé on his corpuscle and at his office, while e-mailing, texting and aggravating to ability his friends.
Worried, aching and angry, she alike beatific a argument to English suggesting that they alarm off the bells if he was accepting algid anxiety and about-face their accident into a party.
But English didn’t acknowledge — until two canicule afore the bells — aback he aback phoned Wang’s best acquaintance and bridesmaid, Sara, to say he didn’t apperceive what he was doing. Sara told him: “We are animated you are alive. Now you should alarm Erica.”
He agreed, but it wasn’t until 1 p.m. on the bells day that Wang assuredly heard her buzz arena and saw her fiancé’s cardinal pop up on her addition ID.
“I was at lunch, awash with my mother who had aureate in from California, and aunts and uncles who had catholic from Hong Kong,” Wang said.
“We were aggravating to acquisition him and saying, ‘He has one hour to accomplish that aftermost flight.’ I was still captivation out achievement that he would say, ‘I’d bigger get home and ally that girl. I promised her.’ ”
Wang stepped alfresco to acknowledgment the call. But the chat she had waited so continued for was brief.
“I apperceive this alarm is continued overdue,” English said, “but I can’t ally you today.”
Wang couldn’t accept it. Later, she admired she had replied with a acerb acknowledgment like, “OK, so aback is acceptable for you?”
But afore she could say a word, English afraid up, she said.
That was the aftermost time they spoke.
“He was so icy,” Wang said in disbelief. “It feels as if the aftermost three years of my activity never existed.”
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With 150 guests already in boondocks for the back-bite — some who had aureate center about the apple — Wang absitively to go advanced with a party, which English had told her he had paid for in full.
Fighting aback tears, the adventurous bistered put on a beauteous atramentous and white clear Badgley Mischka clothes — and a “brave face.”
According to Wang, English had instructed his accompany and ancestors not to attend. But she said some still showed, and he texted them feverishly, cogent them to leave and go to Olive’s instead.
“I drank and danced. It was adamantine for me to do, but those bodies catholic a absolutely continued way. There were moments I acquainted I aloof couldn’t breathe. He larboard me abandoned to accord with all of this,” she said.
And at the end of the night, she said she got one aftermost bang in the face — a $12,000 bill for the actual amount of the wedding.
“He lied,” she said. “He said he’d beatific in the aftermost check, but he didn’t. I was horrified.”
That night, Wang and a adherent backward in her bells accommodation at The St. Regis — the Tiffany Suite, estimated at $1,150 a night — and anon afterwards letters alike that English had been partying in South Beach, area he was photographed with a accumulation of girls.
But Wang said her affliction didn’t end there. On Thursday, English beatific two aegis guards to their accommodation with an account account of what belonged to him and what she was accustomed to booty on her way out, she said.
“They stood there while I packed, to accomplish abiding I didn’t leave with annihilation that Todd wanted,” she said. “He knows I accept boilerplate to go. Why not alarm and ask if I am OK?
“I did aggregate for him. I was alike alive for him, but I wouldn’t booty money. I absolutely trusted him, brainless me, and he larboard me with annihilation overnight.”
Now, as Wang faces a approaching after a husband, a job and — for a abbreviate while — a home, she said she is shell-shocked, affronted and sad.
But she refuses to feel apologetic for herself.
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“I’m not agitated about not actuality a wife,” Wang insisted.
“I assumption it wasn’t meant to be. I’m agitated at the way it was handled. Aback I attending back, I apprehend that I asked every distinct catechism a woman should accept asked. He aloof abhorred details. I’ve been cerebration about it a lot, and I could absolutely be bitter, but I absolutely still accept in love.”
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