In February 2008, raven-haired beauty Erica Wang got the surprise of her life. Her boyfriend of two years, swarthy celebrity chef Todd English, whisked her to St. Barts, rented a yacht and led her out onto the bow.
Overlooking the clear, azure sea, English pulled out a 6-carat diamond ring and asked her to be his wife. Wang happily accepted but with a caveat — she wanted to elope, she said. For her, a big white wedding wasn’t important.
But English shook his head.
“Erica, ” he said, fixing her with his intense brown eyes, “you’ll resent me for the rest of your life if you don’t let me throw you a big wedding.”
Wang, 33, didn’t feel like she could argue.
“It was so romantic, ” she recalled in an exclusive interview with The Post. “I never asked him to marry me because I knew he was the kind of man you can’t push. We were having a great time, and I loved him.”
Wang isn’t exactly feeling the love now. After planning a lavish, $150, 000 wedding at The St. Regis last week, the 49-year-old restaurateur jilted Wang — leaving her to host a party for 150 guests on her own.
He even stiffed her with the final charges for the wedding, she said, forcing her to fork over $12, 000.
Now that it’s all over, English has cut off her credit cards and is forcing her to move out of their Chelsea apartment at the end of the month, she said. Because she was effectively English’s personal assistant, she’s also out of a job.
“An animal wouldn’t treat another animal the way he has treated me, ” said Wang, wearing sunglasses to hide her puffy eyes. “He is forgetting I am human. I don’t deserve this. He has caused me, my friends and family so much pain.”
English yesterday released the following statement to The Post: “I am deeply saddened and remorseful for the cancellation of the wedding and any embarrassment that it caused to Erica, her family, my family and our friends. It was never intended this way, but our relationship has not been positive for some time.”
After saying Wang had hit and wounded him during a fight and tore up a prenup agreement, the statement added: “As sad and painful this has been for me and I am sure for her, we are better off alone rather than together. I wish Erica well.”