Photo: AP / Wikimedia Commons
One of the strangest elements of the Bo Xilai scandal and his subsequent removal from the Communist Party was that the official report that stated he “had or maintained improper sexual relations with multiple women”.While Bo’s alleged crimes — corruption, cronyism, and even involvement in murder — were big, rumours about his sexual conduct seemed far vaguer, and had been mostly limited to one strange story, sourced to overseas news site Boxun, about a sexual relationship with the Chinese star of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Zhang Ziyi.
According to the report, Zhang been paid $110 million over a number of years for sex with Bo and a number of other senior Party officials. While the story sounds far-fetched, it spread quickly and hit her wallet hard — Zhang’s lawyer says she lost $750,000 in work after the fall-out. Zhang is now taking Boxun and a number of other publications to court for publishing the claims.
Zhang may not be the only celebrity forced to go to court, however. Chinese overseas media is now reporting that a longer list of celebrities linked to Bo may be circulating, which includes, according to the Telegraph, “anchors from CCTV, the biggest state-owned television station in China, and regional television outlets as well as film and television stars”. That seems to tie in with other reports about Bo’s sexual life — earlier this year journalist Jiang Weiping told NPR, “I think it’s an extremely conservative guess to say he had 100 mistresses.”
PR agencies are apparently scrambling to make sure their clients don’t suffer the same infamy as Zhang. Xu Xin, a legal scholar in Beijing, wrote a post that suggested PR agents are now monitoring Weibo for their client’s names, hoping to censor any salacious rumours before they get too big.
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