Who is Mae Moo?

Monday 7 September 2009

Getting all too real, the cobra bites, fighting back

He’s the actor who doesn’t want to show his face.

Trouble is piling up for Nathan Oman, the former singer who two months ago claimed Hollywood hired him to appear in a blockbuster, but amid mounting disputes with debtors at home now wants to stay out of sight.

Nathan has entered a business venture with a city cafe. Exploiting his supposed connections, he also offers to find jobs for friends (for a fee); and drawing on his alleged childhood ties to Nepal, where Nathan claims he was born, advertises his services as a tour guide to the country.

All ventures have run into strife, which for his critics have compounded doubts about Nathan’s most spectacular claim about himself – that Hollywood is paying him 100 million baht to appear in a three-part fantasy adventure based on his own life, starring Bruce Willis and Nina Ricci.

On Monday Nathan skipped a meeting with police in a dispute over a city cafe where he is part-shareholder.

He is wrangling with his partners in the Jamaree Yak Cafe Gallery in the Rama IV area, after they told police last month that he had made off with 130,000 baht in shop takings.

Jamjuree ''Julie'' Kasher (DJ ''JJ'' at Easy FM 105.5) said the money was intended to pay the rent and insurance on the café. Nathan claims he paid it, but has yet to offer proof. 

At the meeting, Nathan was supposed to present a transfer slip showing he had sent the money to the landlord. However, he failed to appear.

Julie says Nathan has now paid 57,000 baht of the rent, leaving 72,000 baht outstanding. ''I am disappointed he failed to turn up. If he showed us the slip he claims to have, this whole dispute could end,'' she said.

Nathan, wearing his job-finder’s hat, is also arguing with creditors after he claimed he would find them work at the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Orathai Limlamai, 27, paid Nathan 69,000 baht to find her a job with the TAT. Nathan claimed to know the director’s secretary, and promised to get Orathai a job working in the overseas economic development division, paying 44,000 baht a month.

Nathan asked for money as the cost of getting her application processed.

She left her marketing job with a private hospital in January to sit the TAT recruitment exam, which she thought would be a mere formality. When she failed to get in, she asked Nathan for her money back, without success.

After hearing about Nathan’s cafe dispute, she decided to lay a complaint.

''I believed his assurances that he would get me a job with the TAT, but now am out of work.

''Two friends of mine were also promised jobs, but they paid less money than me, and are too shy to come forward. Otherwise they would be laying a complaint too,'' she said.

The same day, Nathan refunded a deposit of 77,000 baht to four creditors promised a guided tour to Nepal, after they laid a complaint of theft.

Rather than show his face, he sent along a friend of his mother’s to leave the money with police.

On behalf of travel company Luxury Air Travel, Nathan offered to take the four on the trip.

Nathan claimed his company was allied to a major tour operator, but kept putting off the tour date. Former friends of Nathan’s, they asked for their money back, again without success.

Since getting their refund, they have agreed to withdraw their complaint.

Nathan’s legal problems might have passed with little fanfare had he not claimed recently to have broken into Hollywood.

In July, Nathan told the media he had spent the past six months in the Arabian desert, acting in The Prince of Red Shoe, a blockbuster directed by Wolfgang Peterson for 20th Century Fox.

Writing at webboards, self-appointed ''people’s detectives'' looked into his claims but could find no trace of the film. Reporters contacted members of his family who say Nathan was born and grew up in the provinces, not overseas.

Nathan went before the media to insist the movie was being made, but has refused to answer further questions.

Julie told the media Nathan had spent most of the year not in the exotic Middle East, as he claimed, but helping run the cafe with her.

Hua Mark police have now summoned him to appear. If he fails to show in the next 15 days, they will seek his arrest. -


Two actors on the set of a slippery thriller have been hospitalised for snake bites.

In the Phranakorn Film thriller, The Intruder, actors must grapple with giant cobras which have gone beserk.

While filming in Pathum Thani, star Akkara ''Golf'' Amatayakun suffered a snake bite to the left hand as he attempted to show a cobra who was boss.

He was pictured on the front page of red-top newspapers being carted into intensive care of the local hospital for observation.

''We were filming in a deserted hospital. I was wrestling with the snake as if to get him off me. When I fell to the ground, the snake came out of my hand.

''Rehearsals were fine, but during filming, as I landed on its tail, it turned around and bit me. They took me to hospital just in case venom entered my system,'' he said.

Golf is no stranger to cobras, having worked with them in Ngoo Yuk Paya Mae Bia (Giant King Cobra). However, it’s the first time one has bit him.

Happily for viewers, the cameraman managed to get it all on film. Golf, on his feet, is wrestling with the snake, and appears to be making good work of his adversary.

But as he falls to the ground and releases the cobra from his grip, the snake gets a new lease on life, and nips his finger.

Golf exclaims in fright, and jumps away.

The snake he was holding had been milked of its venom, defanged, and also had its mouth stitched up. Despite these precautions, it still managed to give him a bite.

Doctors had cleared Golf to go by early evening the same day.

The week before, young member of cast and acting newcomer, BellBell Adiphong, was bitten on set. BellBell was also taken to hospital, and cleared after a few hours’ stay.

Producer Poj Anon said the cast had been trained in how to handle snakes at the Bangkok snake farm, run by the Thai Red Cross Society. He also took out large insurance policies for his actors.

Poj has warned them to be extra careful when handling their slithery foes. Even snake charmers, he says, can get a nasty bite. -


The SEA Games in Laos are a kickbox too far for former Olympics Thai boxing star Worapoj Petchkoom, who has been served with a three-month ban for posing in a gay magazine.

The Amateur Boxing Association of Thailand imposed the ban on Worapoj, who won silver for Thailand at the 2004 Olympics, after he posed for the cover of Stage magazine in July.

Gen Thaweep Chantaroj, its president, said the magazine spread, while not revealing, brought the association into disrepute. Under the rules, Worapoj also should have sought permission.

For Worapoj, the ban means he won’t be able to compete at the SEA Games in Laos on Dec 9-18. He is unrepentant, saying the pictures were nothing extraordinary, and the association was pressuring him to leave the sport.

Worapoj says a friend invited him to pose for the cover shoot as part of the magazine’s third anniversary. He did not know that it sold to the gay market.

‘I can’t see how it hurts anybody. I don’t know what they have against me,’ he told Kom Chad Luek newspaper.

He has promised to get back at his critics with a series of exposes about the sport.

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