(UPDATE: The individual initially reported as a 46-year-old man has revealed himself on Facebook as 22-year-old Nguyen Tan Phat, a real estate agent in Vietnam who is not married. Nguyen did not provide any explanation for his unusually miniature and youthful appearance.)
Underwear tycoon Michelle Mone made an unforgettable gaffe during a visit to Vietnam after picking up and sharing a photo opportunity with a little Vietnamese “boy” that turned out to be a 46-year-old married man.
The 44-year-old Scottish baroness was delivering a talk to thousands of people at an entrepreneurs’ conference when the “boy” walked up to her carrying a bouquet of flowers, according to the Daily Mail.
Not missing a seemingly good photo op with a sweet child, the lingerie head lifted him up and smiled for the cameras.
Judging by his reaction, he didn’t seem to mind being picked up like a baby as he posed happily with Mone anyway. Mone only realized her error when she heard a woman sitting in the front row scream: “Put him down – I’m his wife!”
The man’s wife also asked Mone later if it was part of “British custom” to lift people up in similar fashion.
Baroness Mone, founder of the lingerie company Ultimo, shared her experience on Twitter.
“Most embarrassing moment. Speaking in Vietnam to 3,000 people, thought this was a 6-year-old, picked him up, he’s a MAN,” she wrote.
Most embarrassing moment.Speaking in Vietnam to 3,000 people,thought this was a 6 year old,picked him up,he’s a MAN🙈 pic.twitter.com/VqNR86dsUi
— Lady Mone (@MichelleMone) May 7, 2016
Her post got thousands of retweets and likes as well as funny reactions from her followers:
@MichelleMone Hilarious, brings new meaning to picking up a man.
— June Sarpong MBE (@junesarpong) May 7, 2016
@MichelleMone In your defence, he looks about 6 maybe 7 at a push!
— matt sowerby (@matt_sowerby) May 7, 2016
— Jacqui Morley (@jacquimorley) May 7, 2016
But some observers found the tweet unfunny:
@MichelleMone so you tweet about it to add to the humiliation? Tool.
— Newt Spartan (@DrToboggan_MD) May 7, 2016
— chris amdorble (@chrisamdorble) May 7, 2016
Mone told Daily Mail:
“The guy was fine with it and the whole room was screaming with laughter. I thought something was wrong – his teeth were bright yellow from nicotine.”