June 14, 2012 5:03 PM EST
Chinese Actress Zhang Ziyi Sues Publications Over Bo Xilai Allegations
One of China's most famous actresses has filed a libel suit against two prominent Hong Kong news organizations over articles claiming that she was paid to have sex with Bo Xilai, the deposed Communist Party official. The "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" actress, Zhang Ziyi, sued Apple Daily which is a well-known tabloid newspaper and Next Magazine Publishing, both of which are owned by Next Media, over the false prostitute allegations. Executives at the Chinese-language newspaper companies, known for racy celebrity gossip and strong criticism of the Chinese communist authorities, have declined to comment.
According to Apple Daily reports, Zhang Ziyi made $110 million by sleeping with Bo Xilai and other officials on numerous occasions that went on for ten years. The article also stated that she was introduced to Bo Xilai by Xu Ming, a tycoon who has been detained and linked to the Bo Xilai investigation. The former Politburo member is being investigated for allegations on abuse of power and linked to a murder of a British national. The story was removed from the newspaper's website after Zhang threatened to sue last month.
Now, the 33-year-old actress has signed and formally presented the lawsuit to the Hong Kong High Court saying that the reports were seriously defamatory and completely false.
"The plaintiff has been subjected to public odium, hatred, contempt or ridicule," the lawsuit signed by the actress said, adding it would seek unspecified damages. "The plaintiff's public image has also been seriously and continuously undermined, which has caused and will continue to cause loss and damage to her profession and career," the suit further stated.
Bo Xilai was sacked from his post as boss of Chongqing City in March and then suspended from China's powerful central politburo for serious discipline violation which is a code for corruption. He has not been seen since. On the other hand, his wife, Gu Kailai, is in custody and is also under suspicion for ordering the murder of a British businessman. Zhang Ziyi has also denied Apple Daily's reports that she was also now under investigation by the Chinese authorities and was barred from leaving China.
A spokesman for the "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Rush Hour 2" actress said in a post on Chinese social media that Zhang Ziyi will not tolerate the recent irresponsible media rumors. "The legal proceedings mean that we have started down the road to maintaining her legal rights and interests. Justice can be expected soon," the spokesman said. In addition to the damages made, the lawsuit seeks an injunction order restraining the defendants from publishing similar words defaming the actress in the future.