Actress Ziyi Zhang at a press conference in Toronto, Canada, September 2012. Zhang is suing media companies Boxun and Apple Daily, who claimed that she engaged in illicit liaisons with ousted Communist Party official Bo Xilai. A number of female Chinese celebrities recently panicked after Xinhua referred to Bo’s alleged trysts with women. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
In the announcement that officially and finally terminated Bo Xilai’s political career and expelled him from the Chinese Communist Party on Sept. 28, Xinhua, the state mouthpiece, made passing mention of Bo’s “improper sexual relationships with a number of women.”
China’s microblogging sites were quickly abuzz with who the female counterparties may have been. Chinese female celebrities on Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, soon declared that they never knew Bo Xilai, and had never been to Chongqing.
Others are reported to have frantically contacted their public relations staff to deal pre-emptively with any claims that might connect them with Bo. According to Xu Xin, a legal scholar in Beijing, PR agents were instructed to monitor Weibo and work to have posts mentioning their clients deleted posthaste.
The names of specific stars that came up included Ni Ping, Zhang Ziyi, Li Bingbing, Tang Wei, Gong Li, Lin Zhiling, Liu Jialing, Faye Wong, Jiang Wenli, and Stafanie Sun, among others. All are models, actresses, singers, or otherwise enjoy public recognition.
As a demonstration of how seriously Chinese celebrities take the charges, Zhang Ziyi, a famous actress accused of trysts with Bo, has taken the media company responsible to court. She is pressing ahead with a lawsuit announced in June against the overseas Chinese dissident media Boxun, which claims it has solid sources for the salacious reports it ran about Zhang’s alleged encounters with Bo. She’s also suing Hong Kong’s Apple Daily in a California court.
Apple Daily, known for its gossipy and sometimes prurient reporting, has long written about Bo’s alleged affairs with movie stars, celebrities, anchorwomen, and models.
According to Apple Daily, Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, even sought to do away with a Dalian anchor named Zhang Weijie for having an affair with Bo. Zhang later disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
Oriental Daily, another Hong Kong media, reported in April that Xu Ming, the former CEO of a business empire based in Dalian that had benefitted from Bo’s patronage for years, confessed during an investigation that he was responsible for arranging and sending over 100 women, including famous movie stars, over to Bo Xilai.
Jiang Weiping, a journalist who served several years in prison after writing an article accusing Bo Xilai of corruption in Dalian, wrote an article describing how Bo’s former personal secretary Wu Wenkang had served as a pimp for Bo. Wu and an owner of a luxury hotel in Dalian reserved a room in the hotel and provided a steady supply of both well-known and beautiful women for Bo Xilai’s indulgence, Jiang wrote.
Wu Wenkang would take care of the children that sometimes arose as a result of those engagements, he wrote.
Another overseas Chinese news website, Mingjing, referred to an “informed source” that a document had been circulated in the Politburo with a list of the names of the women who had been with Bo Xilai.
Mingjing also alleged that state-run television stations, including the Communist Party’s flagship broadcaster China Central Television, were like harems for Bo’s pleasure and that of other senior Party officials. If that is the case, regime leaders will not be releasing the list any time soon.
With research by Gao Zitan.
Read the original Chinese article.
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