Cosmetic surgeon to the stars Vicki Belo has become controversial due to her alleged involvement in the Hayden Kho-Katrina Halili sex video scandal. Her silence during the issue's peak fueled speculations on whether she had anything to do with the video's uploading on the Internet. The allegations will take a long time to die out, and even though she has already given her sworn statement, Vicki feels that it is time to speak her mind regarding the issue that has been giving her and her company a bad name.
Startalk's host Butch Francisco sat down with the beauty doctor when he visited her home yesterday for a one-on-one interview that ranged from her thoughts on endorser Katrina to forgiving ex-boyfriend Hayden Kho.
First, Butch asked how she was holding herself up.
"Ang ginagawa ko ngayon, e nagko-concentrate ako sa trabaho ko," Vicki replied. "Mas masipag ako magtrabaho at araw-araw nasa clinic ako dahil doon ko nahahanap yung kapayapaan at happiness ko. I am also spending more time with my children."
Vicki admitted that she was worried now that she has been tagged as an accomplice to the uploading of Hayden's sex videos. At first she thought that people saw her as a victim as well, but as the controversy progressed, more and more have begun to think that she had something to do with it, which she vigorously denied.
"Alam mo, hindi ako ganoong klaseng tao," said Vicki. "It goes against everything I stand for, which [are], of course, woman empowerment, integrity, class and honesty."
STICK TO THE ISSUE. The issue spawned numerous court suits against everyone involved. When news came out that Katrina was suing Vicki, too, and that her demand included having her company shut down, Vicki wondered what her clinic had to do with the issue.
Vicki reacted, "Shocked talaga. Akala ko joke. Noong nalaman ko na totoo, e shocked talaga ako. I sympathized with her before and we had the same goal, para malaman ang katotohanan. Never ko inakala na ako din pagbibintangan. Ginusto pa niya na mawalan ako ng medical license at magsarado ang Belo Medical Group at mawalan ng trabaho ang employees ko na wala naman kinalaman sa pag-upload ng sex video. Ano ba yan nangyayari, parang nababaliktad ang mundo."
Aside from Vicki's alleged involvement in the scandal, some people questioned her skills as a doctor and her company's competence. Rumor had it that a patient supposedly died after undergoing liposuction at her clinic.
"First of all, gusto ko talaga sabihin, we've done over 25,000 liposuctions and never, never ever has any patient died of liposuction in Belo Medical Group," said Vicki. "The PMA [Philippine Medical Association] conducted an investigation and they really say that the patient died of asthma... Alam natin na severe asthma can really kill, so it had nothing to do with the liposuction."
Vicki's lawyer Atty. Adel Tamayo, who had been silent until this point in the interview, now shared his opinion. The case against his client has already spawned too many unrelated cases, he said.
"Halimbawa, anong kinalaman ng sex video at pagpapatakbo ng Belo Medical Clinic? Wala talagang connection at mukhang hindi maganda ang pag-advise kay Katrina. Ang issue talaga dito in regards to my client at kay Doctor Kho, e kung may kasalanan ba sila sa pagkuha ng videos at pag-upload. 'Yan ang kaso sa DOJ [Department of Justice]—nag-file ng isang pleading si Katrina at pinapunta niya doon sa July 14 bilang witness sila Joey de Leon, Lolit Solis, Kris Aquino at marami pang iba. Ano kinalaman nito sa pagkuha ng sex videos? Wala naman silang kinalaman."
The attorney also expressed his fears that the issue has become a circus, fed by hype. He said, "Ginagawa nilang circus ang issue nitong sex videos. Hindi puwede sa issue ng sex video na gagamitin mo puro tsismis at showbiz at puro speculations lang.
"Kung may alam si Katrina Halili na ebidensyang matibay na may kasalanan ang kliyente ko, e ipakita niya, tapos," ended Adel.
"NAUBOS NA DIN ANG PASENISYA NAMIN." They originally didn't want to bother themselves by filing a case against Katrina but, according to Vicki, enough was enough. "Sa ginagawa niya, e nauubos na din ang pasensiya namin at nag-advise sa akin mga lawyers ko na dapat sumagot na kami at mag-file na din," said Vicki.
Would they agree to come to a resolution with Katrina, if an opportunity arises?
"Okay, mahirap magsabi na gusto ko mag-ayos because wala naman akong ginawa," Vicki pointed. "So, I think kung talagang sincere sila, siguro dapat i-drop na nila mga kaso kasi feeling ko ginugulo lang talaga nila ang work ko."
It was in the midst of these issues that her biological father died last July 1. What are her thoughts on her dad?
"Na close din ako sa kanya," Vicki said sadly. "Lagi namin kasama every Sunday at during the week. Noong namatay ang mother ko, e, he spent a lot of time with my family. Masaya ako dahil nakapag-goodbye ako. We spent a lot of time together."
Vicki admitted that her dad had had some idea about the issue though the family had done its best not to bother him with it. For her, it was problem she alone should shoulder. "Puro na lang lawyer's meeting na lang ginagawa ko. Ang maganda dito ay my conscience is clear at I know I have done nothing wrong at nakakatulog pa rin ako nang mahimbing sa gabi. Alam ko na hinihintay ko lang ang araw na tila lalabas ang katotohanan at ma-clear ang pangalan ko."
ON HAYDEN KHO. Hayden said in one interview that he still loves Vicki and Vicki admitted that they still talk. "We speak on the phone about three or four times a week," shared Vicki. "But we are really just friends."
Officially, they are no longer a couple and Vicki told Hayden that it would be best if they did not talk too much and that they move on. Although Hayden voiced out his determination to make amends to be with Vicki again, the beauty doctor sees this as an opportunity for Hayden to make things right for his own sake. "I told him in the end to love himself... and look in the mirror and say, 'I am a good person.'"
If Hayden ever woos her again, would she accept him?
"Talagang hindi ko na siyang matatanggap kasi sobrang napahiya na ako last time," explained Vicki. "Well, I'll never say never, but that is very, very malabo. As I said before, pinagbigyan ko na siya, pinaglaban ko siya at I stood my ground. Now it's time to listen to my family.
"Yes, I still love him but not like before," Vicki replied to the question, does she still love Hayden. "If dati kasi talagang mahal ko siya, I care for him and I want him to live a normal life and have a future."
KATRINA'S CONTRACT. All the negative publicity on the Belo Medical Group would be a nightmare for any businessman to handle. Luckily for Vicki her patients know the difference between beauty services and uploading videos.
Katrina has an existing contract with Belo Flawless. According to Atty. Tamano, it is a binding contract. To prove it, they received a letter from Katrina's lawyer asking them to void the contract.
"Now, ayon sa batas," added Atty. Tamano, "Kung na-receive mo na ang bayad mo sa isang kontrata, e, valid na ang contract. Kung valid ito, e, either irespeto mo ang kontrata or kung ayaw mo, e ibalik mo ang nakuha mo.
"Sa sobrang bait ng mga may-ari ng Flawless, pinabayaan na lang nila. Sige, sure, we won't even ask you to give back the money," said Atty. Tamano.
How does Vicki see the ending?
"I'm very confident na sa ending na makikita na talagang wala akong ginawa and my name will be cleared."