Pui's the queen of a vast domain

Art August 23, 2013 00:00

By The Nation
email: ntsoopsip@g

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Living in California, former Miss Universe Pornthip "Pui" Nakhirunkanok Simon has stayed out of the limelight but often makes trips back to Thailand



People assume she’s had little to do since marrying US billionaire Herb Simon, but in fact she tells Hello! magazine that she has plenty to keep her busy.

“I serve as the director of many organisations, including the Dream Foundation that makes the wishes of terminally ill people come true. I’m also president of the Angel Wing Foundation, which I founded.” Add to that being a board member at Pepperdine University and a supervisor at the Simon Museum in Santa Barbara.

Then there’s Pui’s shoe factory, which makes Angel Scott footwear for the US market and soon, she says, for Thais too. “I’ll probably adjust the design to suit the climate.”

But, of all her jobs, Pui says the most important one is being CEO at home. “It’s a round-the-clock job and there are no days off. We can take off our hats when the other jobs are done, but we can never resign from our roles as mothers and wives!”

And family always comes first for Pui and her husband. “My husband isn’t like Donald Trump – he’s not a show-off and he sees the importance of family matters.” She’s raising five kids – two of her own and three she adopted after her younger sister died of heart disease. All but one are with them in the States. Pui makes them breakfast and a lunch to take to school, “all before I dress them – in 15 minutes!”

Yes, they have household staff, but Pui insists on doing her part as a mother. At 5.30am she’s driving them to school. “You’ll never find me lying on the sofa reading a magazine – that’s not me,” she says.

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Low-power zap

Wednesday’s “3Zaaap” show proved to be an anti-climax. Nantida Kaewbuasai and Chontida “Pleng” Asavahame were among the mums and daughters invited to compare notes. Promos for the episode led viewers to assume they’d hear what Nantida thought about the recent flash wedding of her ex-partner Chonsawat Asavahame to actress Janie Thienphosuvan. But Nantida maintained her silence about the man everyone thought was her husband. Chonsawat is Pleng’s father.

Hattaya Wongkrachang and her teenage twins Supara “Noon” and Sitala “Nang” and TV host Mayura Svetdila and her little girl Natcha “Namtan” joined Nantida and Pleng in talking about their closeness. Dads only entered into the conversation when Hattaya talked about how protective actor-turned-activist Saranyoo is about his daughters.

It took a Thai Life commercial to understand how everything fit together here. Hattaya and her girls are presenters for Total Life Solutions, an insurance plan for families with premature children. It was all rather nice, but also rather tricky.

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Unintended promotion

We stupidly referred to Chonsawat Asavahame in yesterday’s column as the governor of Rayong (probably trying to blame him for the oil spill). He is in fact president of the Samut Prakan Provincial Administrative Organisation. We apologise for the error.