A cautionary tale for would-be “sugar babies”

Before you sign up for Seeking Arrangement or any other similarly sleazy site thinking that you’ll be “empowered” or otherwise set for life, girls, there’s something you need to see. Namely, what REALLY happens to women who sign on for the “job” of rich man’s kept woman:

HE FLEW HER ALL over the globe, gave her a black American Express card, bought her an apartment and showered her with cash.

But C.C. Wang — wedding-dress designer Vera Wang’s widowed father — refused to make an honest woman out of his loyal mistress of 30 years, Betty Phillips.

And when Phillips flew from her home in Singapore to Wang’s New York sickbed after his second stroke, she was cast off like a stained bridesmaid’s gown.

Instead of love, she got a cold-as-ice letter that outlined the terms of the relationship: no wedding, no money and, please, no visits.

Phillips signed the breakup letter — and a judge now says that means she isn’t entitled to the fortune C.C. left when he died.

“There is no proof she was forced to sign the letter,” the judge wrote Wednesday, ruling against Phillips’ claim she deserves $10 million and a hefty allowance.

Is that any way to treat a lady who threw away thirty years of her life — presumably the “best” years in terms of looks, health, and fertility — on a dirty old hypocrite? I mean, what else would you call a man who did this?

Wang and Phillips met in Singapore in 1980. She was leaving an abusive husband, the court files say. Despite about 30 years difference in age, Phillips and Wang lived together for a time, and her lawyer describes their coupling as a “sophisticated partnership.”

But when wife Florence died in January 2004, Phillips was no longer content to be a mere lover, and began pressuring Wang to marry her.

He wasn’t looking for another trip down the aisle, though, and when Phillips visited his house in Pound Ridge, N.Y., he would hide her from his kids, court papers say.

Wang’s health deteriorated, and when he had another stroke in July 2004, Phillips rushed from Singapore to his home in Southampton, L.I.

There, she was presented with a letter to “set forth for you my understanding of our relationship” — in decidedly unromantic terms.

“I have told my children and by this letter I am making it absolutely clear to you as I did in the past, that I have no intention of marrying you and that under no circumstance whatsoever will we ever be married to each other,” the letter said.

“Further, I have already adequately provided for you financially and there will be no further financial transfers from me to you. Please confirm that you waive any claim of any kind or nature against me, my family or my estate.”

And sadly, that’s just what she did. And the relationship ended forthwith, his “generosity” (as recognized by the courts) notwithstanding.

I don’t know about you, but I’d say that a man who put me at his constant beck and call, but ordered me not to presume that there was any real love there, could not be called truly generous no matter how much cash was forked over in exchange for…what, exactly? Secretive sex behind a smokescreen of intact family relations? Listening to him belly-ache about business? Or pretending to believe him when he claims his wife “doesn’t understand” him, but he just can’t be bothered to divorce the less-than-understanding lady because then he’d lose half of what he has (even though what’s left would still be more than plenty)?

Nope. The “love” of a rich man for his mistress is NEVER generous. It is selfish, deceitful, false and unkind. And Betty Phillips found it all out the hard way.

One hopes that she kept her hand in, professionally, and that she at least has a good career to fall back on. Also, one hopes that it isn’t yet too late for her to find true love. But when one squanders 30+ years of one’s prime propping up the ego of an old coot who will only spurn one’s loyalty and love in the end, it must be damn hard to get back into the social pool and not find it icy cold.

So, girls…does that “sugar baby arrangement” thing still sound “empowering” to you now?

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