In a recent interview with Xinhua, leading Chinese film director and ‘prolific father‘ Zhang Yimou said that he is ready to apologize for breaking the one-child policy, a violation for which he is now facing a seven million yuan fine.
Last month, Zhang reportedly disappeared after it was revealed that he had fathered as many as seven children with different women.
Zhang emerged from hiding weeks later and admitted that his violation of family planning laws was “unfair to the poor and those who strictly follow the national policy,” after which two lawyers filed a lawsuit against the director, suing him for a total of one billion yuan .
In an interview with Xinhua, Zhang – who fathered two sons and a daughter with his current wife, Chen Ting – said he would take full responsibility for his wrongdoing. He said his parents influenced his decisions about fatherhood.
“My father told me before he died that he wished to have a boy carry on the family line,” Zhang said. “My mother felt that children needed company.”
Lawyers investigating the case were cited as saying that Zhang’s annual earnings in 2000, 2003 and 2005, the years before the births of his children, ranged from 2,760 yuan to 2.5 million yuan.
Li Wei, an executive partner of the Fada law office in Beijing told Xinhua that after calculations based on combined household income, Zhang could realistically face charges up to 7.3 million yuan.
Zhang said he is ready to accept the penalty for his violations.
“As a public figure, I and my wife must assist the sweeping investigations by the family planning authorities and also are willing to make a public apology,” he said.
Zhang added that he and his wife had not received any special treatment from authorities because of his elite status.
“If we had have been given special treatment, our children would have obtained their legal status earlier, and the situation of today could have been avoided,” Zhang’s wife said.
Conveniently, Zhang is currently in the middle of shooting his latest film ‘Return’ in Beijing and Tianjin.
[Image via Xinhua]