Chinese star Fan Bingbing announced on Thursday that she won’t stand for “malicious slander” any longer, declaring that she will be suing fugitive business tycoon Guo Wengui for defamation after he spread some very provocative rumors about her sex life.
Guo has regularly been stirring up trouble in the halls of power in China this year by dishing up dirt about China’s elite to overseas media and to his followers on social media from the safety of his luxury Manhattan penthouse. Last month, he released a video on YouTube in which he accused Fan and several other female celebrities of having sex with 68-year-old Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Qishan, China’s anti-corruption tsar and some say the country’s second-leading man.
On Weibo, Fan’s management team said that the allegations had been “fabricated out of thin air” and had “severely damaged her reputation.” Meanwhile, Wang has not yet responded.
The impending lawsuit is reminiscent of one filed in 2012 by Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi against US-based rumor website Boxun.com after the site spread rumors that she was the mistress of Bo Xilai. Often popular Chinese actresses are accused of carrying out affairs with high-level officials and wealthy tycoons.
Guo has been the subject of much controversy after fleeing China two years ago. A report from Chinese business magazine Caixin labeled him a “power hunter,” meaning someone who knows how to navigate the often shady world of Chinese politics and accumulate large amounts of wealth in the process.
Around the same time the report was published, Guo declared a self-imposed exile and moved to New York, where he frequently calls out Chinese politicians, businessmen and other elites on social media for their supposed corruption.
In April, China issued a “red notice” calling for Guo’s arrest after the tycoon threatened to release information exposing top-level government corruption. Since then Guo has accumulated a number of lawsuits from both China and the US, but he has yet to be prosecuted and remains the controlling shareholder in Beijing Zenith Holdings and Beijing Pangu Investment, according to the South China Morning Post.
Fan Bingbing isn’t the first to speak up about the salacious sex rumors that Guo has been spreading. Another Chinese actress, Xu Qing, also has plans to sue Guo for similar slander. The two of them join a growing list of Guo’s enemies which includes many of China’s most powerful people.
Meanwhile, Guo seems completely unalarmed by his fugitive status and the lawsuits piling up against him. He even took to Twitter on Tuesday to show off the view from his brand new Manhattan apartment.
— 郭文贵Guo Wengui ✊️✊️✊️ (@KwokMiles) July 11, 2017
By Caroline Roy
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