Literary badboy and rally driver Han Han (韩寒) is set to take anti-fraud crusader Fang Zhouzi (方舟子) to court for claiming online that some of his works were probably ghost-written. Choi Chi-yuk of the South China Morning Post reports:
Lu Jinbo , Han’s agent, wrote on his microblog account yesterday that the 30-year-old highly popular novelist and blogger was filing a lawsuit against Fang, who is also known as Dr Fang Shimin , demanding an apology and 100,000 yuan (HK$122,800) in damages.
The lawsuit follows Fang’s claims that the author of The Three Doors – Han’s first published book, by which he gained national prominence – might have been someone else. Fang implied that the ghostwriter could have been Han’s father.
To bolster Han’s case, Lu said Han would seek help from the official notary department to verify a stack of his manuscripts, as thick as 1,000 pages, to determine whether they were written in his handwriting between 1997 and 2000. The documents would then be presented as evidence proving Han was the author, Lu said.
Han Han is demanding 100,000 RMB in compensation from Fang, and offering an additional 20 million RMB to anyone who can prove that his works were ghost-written.
In comments made to the China Daily on Sunday, Fang said, “Suing me is his right, but it will also attract more attention… It’s not bad to make more people know the truth.”
He also added in a statement posted on his blog, “I don’t think the resulting court decision, even if it goes in my favor, will affect the conclusion of my analysis of Han’s works… My analysis, queries and criticism of Han Han’s articles accord with the freedom of speech and academic criticism, and are irrelevant to the infringement of his reputation.”
Han Han’s father, Han Renjun (韩仁均), who is himself a writer, has also entered the fray to help clear his son’s name. On Sunday, he published on his own Sina Weibo account a handwritten letter sent by Han Han to him in 1999 while he was still a student at the Songjiang No. 2 Middle School. The post was retweeted close to 30,000 times as curious netizens began analysing Han’s handwriting.