Zhang Ziyi, the Chinese movie actress, was accused of being a high-class prostitute in connection with a political scandal to the tune of $100 million. Now, the well-known movie star is fighting back against the rumors.
Zhang Ziyi, best known on the American movie scene for films like "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," now demands an apology from all news outlets that ran the rumors of prostitution. While at first she kept quiet about the claims that she was sexually connected to Chinese politician Bo Xilai, the star has had her representatives attack media sites for running "false and defamatory" stories without actual proof.
"The accusations made against award-winning actress Zhang Ziyi are completely false and defamatory," her representative told E! News. "There is no truth in any of the allegations that have come forth which are a result of calculated cruel intentions against a well-respected established actress."
The representative also added that "legal repercussions"- possibly in the form of a lawsuit- would result from the "calculated cruel intentions" involved in publishing the stories.
The story first originated from China's Boxun.com, who stated that over the past 10 years, Ziyi was paid millions to prostitute herself to scandal-embroiled politician Bo Xilai and other corrupt officials. Although their lack of sources made the stories look doubtful, the report was duplicated by the country's Apple Daily site, and the rumor spread like wildfire.
Though Ziyi's camp sent a letter to Apple Daily requesting the story be stopped, it was too late- the rumor had gained traction internationally.
"We read this outrageous report in the Apple Daily," her publicist said. "It sent chills down our spines and has left us with a deep sadness."
Although ignoring the story was suggested as the smarter thing to do, the actress' people soon realized that the method may not always work.
"It would be better to step aside until people lose interest and the lies disappear. The innocent will always be innocent and the truth will be revealed." the publicist said, as reported by StarPulse.com. "Friends have advised us to release a short statement and not take this seriously."
Now, various media sites are reporting on the alleged scandal, as well as Ziyi's response.
"The more you argue, the more you stir up," added the publicist.