Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) has dominated the gossip pages since reports broke that the Chinese actress allegedly took millions of US dollars in exchange for encounters with Bo Xilai (薄熙來). Zhang took to her blog to deny that she had prostituted herself to the scandal-ridden former mayor and governor and other politicians and business leaders, but is reportedly under investigation by the Chinese government and forbidden to leave the country. The rumors were supposedly lent credence by Zhang’s absence from the Cannes Film Festival premiere of her latest flick Dangerous Liaisons (危險關係).
Other high-powered men who reportedly paid to sleep with Zhang include Shide Group (實德集團) founder Xu Ming (徐明), one of China’s wealthiest businessmen.
Our sister newspaper the Liberty Times reported that discussion about Zhang’s alleged side job first started on online forums in China, but was quickly shut down by the government. The Xinhua News Agency (新華通訊社) finally reported the news several days later. The article by the government’s official news agency carefully denounced the allegations as scuttlebutt, leading the Liberty Times to remark that “China’s ability to silence discussions once again renders people speechless.”
The Liberty Times report also said that netizens have offered advice to Zhang: watch your back. Bo and his wife Gu Kailai (谷開來) are not only under investigation in connection with the death of British businessman Neil Heywood, but one of Bo’s rumored mistresses, anchorwoman Zhang Weijie (張偉杰), disappeared under mysterious circumstances after Gu discovered the dalliance.
Before news of the Zhang-Bo scandal broke, other celebrities managed to enjoy a few minutes in the spotlight this week. Zhang’s Dangerous Liaisons co-star Cecilia Cheung (張?芝) was forced to cancel a press conference after suffering a bout of food poisoning, but was in good spirits at a make-up session with the media.
Ticket sales for the actress’ most recent films have floundered since her acrimonious split from actor Nicholas Tse (謝霆鋒), but Cheung said being dubbed “box office poison” by the press did not bother her.
“I never think of the box office. I only think of doing a good job with my character,” Cheung claimed. “The box office is for my bosses to worry about.”
Her handlers called for a 10-minute break after reporters brought up the topic of Cheung’s love life, but she continued to answer questions.
When a reporter grilled her about the possibility of a reunion with Tse even though their divorce was just finalized last month, Cheung replied “If the love is still there, even if two people are headed in different directions at the moment, it is certain that they will eventually return to one another.”
Tse spent time with the couple’s sons while his ex-wife was filming abroad. The Liberty Times reported that he also spent time with a comely young woman. Tse and his unnamed companion were spotted enjoying a vigorous two-hour-long game of badminton.
Jolin Tsai’s (蔡依林) love life is usually under as much scrutiny as Cheung and Tse’s, but this week she managed to deflect attention from her relationships by sharing a disciplinary note she received as a high school student.
The slip reprimanded the teenage Tsai for not keeping her uniform within school regulations. Tsai disclosed that the offending article was a pair of “bubble socks” (泡泡襪) or slouchy, thick socks pushed down like legwarmers.