Actress Zhang Ziyi of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha fame is suing Hong Kong tabloid-style newspaper Apple Daily as well as its sister magazine, Weekly Next, after reports of her prostituting herself to Chinese officials appeared in both news outlets, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
Apple Daily had published an article on May 29 claiming that Zhang "is a prostitute" who allegedly had sex with several Chinese officials and "unnamed rich persons," collecting a sum of 700 million yuan in total ($110 million) in the past 10 years. One of the supposed liaisons was with official Bo Xilai, who was removed from his position in March for "serious discipline violation" (or corruption, according to AFP).
The newspaper has since taken down the article from their website.
According to the suit Zhang signed and presented to the Hong Kong High Court, the reports were "false" and "seriously defamatory." The suit read, "The plaintiff has been subjected to public odium, hatred, contempt, or ridicule. 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."
Zhang has also denied allegations that she has been barred from leaving China and that she is being investigated by Chinese government.
Meanwhile, Next Media, which owns both Apple Daily and Next Magazine, experienced a company share price fall of 1.79 percent on June 12.
(Photo by Wang Long Wei via Wikimedia Commons)