Zhang Ziyi thinks a “rival actress” is spreading the high-class prostitution story

Many of you wanted to discuss Lainey’s take on the Zhang Ziyi (alleged) prostitution scandalgo here to read Lainey’s post and alternate theories on what’s really going on there, including some interesting insights in the Communist Party’s power and what kind of illicit deals they can make. Lainey suggests that perhaps Zhang is not really a prostitute, but she was “made” to give sexual favors to powerful men under threat. Whether Zhang’s career was threatened, or whether she or her family were threatened with bodily harm… it’s an interesting theory. I do think the Bo Xilai situation is much more complicated than we know, and I think this Zhang Ziyi-prostitution storyline is probably a distraction from a larger, more important story about murder, government corruption in Beijing, a larger cover-up and the top-down disorganization of the Communist Party.

For now, though, Zhang Ziyi is being very careful to avoid all of the conspiracy theories involving important people. According to Page Six, Zhang is prepared to believe the prostitution story was spread by a rival actress:

Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi has strongly denied reports she earned $100 million by having sex with disgraced politician Bo Xilai — and astonishingly, sources close to the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” star blame the reports on a smear campaign by a rival actress.

It was reported that Zhang earned a fortune by prostituting herself to powerful Chinese men between 2007 and 2011, including to Xilai, who was recently removed from power following allegations he was involved in a murder plot. At the time, Zhang was dating financier Vivi Nevo. They were engaged in 2008, but split in 2010.

Last night, reps for Zhang said she was consulting lawyers to sue for libel. Her rep said, “The accusations made against [Zhang] are completely false and defamatory. 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. Legal repercussions are ensuing, and these slanderous reports will not be tolerated in any way.”

Sources told us that Zhang believes the allegations were spread by a “jealous rival.” One said, “This isn’t the first time vicious rumors have been spread about her in the Chinese media by somebody who wants her roles and her success.” The source declined to name the rival, but added, “We will not put up with this, and will take every action necessary.”

[From Page Six]

Side-eye at Gong Li? Yeah… perhaps. I think Zhang Ziyi WISHES and HOPES this was all just girl-on-girl hate, but I think this is probably just a cover story, an alternate-universe theory that might become the “official” storyline. It will be interesting to see if Zhang actually follows through on her threats to sue, and if she does, it will be interesting to see that play out.

I have to admit…I’m not sure if I’m sold on seeing Zhang as a total victim of powerful, corrupt individuals. After I read Lainey’s take, I was reminded of a recent episode of Frontline which documented China’s most famous artist/activist, Ai Weiweigo here to watch the Frontline piece. The Communists, it seems, are terrified of Ai Weiwei, and they’ve even gone so far as to destroy his Beijing studio, throw him off of his government-sanctioned 2008 Olympic projects. They’ve surrounded his compound with surveillance cameras and he was once beaten up by local police officers. Last year he was arrested and held for several months, only to be released. But you know what? Ai Weiwei is still alive. He’s still an activist/artist, and one of the most beloved and respected people in China. He’s still allowed to exist and create and speak. So… while I think the China’s Communist Party are corrupt and powerful, they are not all-powerful monsters who can do whatever they please. I don’t know though… I still think there’s a good chance Zhang was actually a high-class hooker who got some serious money for her time.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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43 Responses to “Zhang Ziyi thinks a “rival actress” is spreading the high-class prostitution story”

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  1. sup says:

    oooh delicious rumours

    • Loulou says:

      The government corruption involving Bo Xilai involved George Soros, Pierre Des Marais and a Rothschild in the raiding of China’s natural resources.

  2. Emma says:

    I think people need to stop believing everything they read. Just because it’s in text doesn’t mean it’s true.

  3. A says:

    I believe there could be a couple of situations in this case. I kind of believe Lainey’s suggestion could be right…Al Weiwei is first of all, a man, and second of all, has much higher up friends than Zhang Ziyi. Also, the entertainment industry itself (in both China and Japan, ironically) is pretty corrupt. For example, Jackie Chan is a notorious womanizer and drunk. That said, I was talking about this with a good friend who is originally from Hong Kong the other day…Her theory also makes a lot of sense. Zhang Ziyi is known for getting with rich, powerful men (look at her fiancee, for example). Either she turned down one of those type of men after he propositioned her, or she said the wrong thing to one of those men, and a smear campaign started. Both of those seem more possible than girl on girl hate to me.

    • LP says:

      I think, for all the admittedly horrible things he’s suffered, that’s an important factor – he’s a man and has a great deal more power/influence than she does.

      • A says:

        Yes. I don’t know if people, or even Kaiser, realize how many BIG friends Al Weiwei has all over the world. There is a reason he wasn’t murdered…the outcry would have had a humungous backlash, perhaps even done serious damage to “the party”. While Lainey’s idea is a bit farfetched, she’s not that far off. Shit is straight up, soap opera level crazy over there in the entertainment industry and among politicians. I’m still leaning more towards Zhang Ziyi, who has a rep for hooking up with rich, powerful men, turned down one of those types who propositioned her or fucked one of those guys over and this is a revenge smear campaign…She may hook up with the rich guys, but they usually aren’t ancient or ugly (Vivi Nevo was pretty good looking in a weird way). She wasn’t hooking up with people like that ugly Italian billionaire that all the supermodels slept with or that producer Stephen Bing. Zhang Ziyi can get not ugly billionaires to date her…I doubt she would hook herself out when guys like Nevo will willingly date her and give her a shitload of things.

  4. Eve says:

    According to Page Six, Zhang is prepared to believe the prostitution story was spread by a rival actress

    I don’t know though… I still think there’s a good chance Zhang was actually a high-class hooker who got some serious money for her time.

    You know…the fact she’s trying to implicate another woman in this (when it’s more likely what Lainey said in her article) kinda makes me believe she’s indeed a high-class hooker.

    • Jill says:

      Yeah, I think I agree. If that really is her feeling about these stories, then maybe she was being “compensated”.

      That said, the $700M figure is flat out ridiculous. Whoever thought they could float that and not have everyone call bulls**t is seriously stupid.

      Or maybe the rival actress theory is the onloy one she feels she can safely float in public,m if in fact, it is a much dirtier reality.

      I don’t really know which theory is true, but I am absolutely sure the wholoe truth will never come out.

      • Jannie says:

        I don’t think 1 million a night is that big of a stretch, rich old men in china are rich and willing to spend. Hell, mediocre tvb (hk major tv network) drama actresses regularly complains about being offer 100-500k for “dinner”, compare with zhang they are nobody.

  5. Happy21 says:

    Not buying the jealous rival theory. Not too sure what the reall story is but that seems immature and ridiculous. When I first read that theory my first thought was that now she is lying to defend herself…

  6. Anne says:

    Pretty much everyone in China thinks she’s a bit of a skank. Apparently she slept with quite a few directors/actors/executives in order to get her roles. That they accuse her of sleeping with Bo really doesn’t surprise me.

    The thing is, I doubt anyone was as gauche as to pay her for sex directly, since Chinese culture kind of frowns on being so obvious. She probably got a lot of “gifts” and favours instead.

    I do love her clothes though.

  7. Adrien says:

    The rival actress is Gong Li and Zhang’s pimp is Michelle Yeoh. Ken Watanabe is smitten with Zhang. He is the Chairman.

  8. Talie says:

    Gong Li was the smart one…she got the hell out of China awhile ago.

  9. T.C. says:

    I liked reading Lainey’s article on this but I think she made too many generalizations about Chinese people and China. I don’t believe the $1Million a night hooker story. Zhang has to pay taxes it’s easy to check if she has a net worth of $100 Million. She is not that loaded. Hope she sues the paper.

  10. Murphy says:

    Gong Li is too old to bother trying to knock Ziyi.

  11. Adrien says:

    Fan Bingbing is her biggest rival not really Gong.
    If she was forced to do sexual favors, there’s no need to pay her a million bucks for a night of passion. But yeah, the Chinese government is terrifying. TV reporters/ personalities are under duress to say something nice about their country and are forced to commit ‘patriotic’ things like hacking rival countries’, Taiwan and Philippines, government websites.

  12. Tweety says:

    It’s not Gong Li, it’s Fan Bingbing that spread the vicious rumors out of jealousy. Fan Bingbing has been in the Chinese film industry about same time as Zang Ziyi but never got any major role overseas like Zang, Gong Li or Michelle Yoh. Despite much “effort” sleeping around with old fat men still no major movie role she resorted to this dirty scam to destroy Ziyi established career. Therefore Fan Bingbing is the real Hooker not Ziyi!!

  13. Jannie says:

    Yes the Chinese government is corrupted, and the Chinese papers are government control, which is why it doesn’t make sense that this is a government cover up. No mainland Chinese newspaper is covering this story at all. This is all covered by hong kong newpapesr, who has freedom of speech and is known for being ridiculously brutal(much much worst than our own). Hell, once they put semi censored nude pictures of one of the biggest pop stars on all of their front pages just to sell more copies, it almost made her kill herself.

    if this was a government cover up, mainland papers would be all over it helping spreading the lies, not hong kong or taiwan.

    • G says:

      +1 !!!!!!

    • LondonParis says:

      From what I read on Lainey’s post, her point was more that this was a government controlled, systematic sex trade type of thing. Those who are the perpetrators of the crime wouldn’t report on it. Only the Hong Kong papers with freedom of speech are reporting it, possibly leaving out the force involved as not to call out the government that surrounds them.

      I may be wrong, just my take!

      • flower says:

        I think Lainey was talking more about the Triads than the Chinese Government itself, I’m sure quite a few government officials have triad links but the corruption itself is not ‘government policy’ as such. It is the criminal underbelly (China’s version of the mafia families) that hold the reigns of the Chinese film industry. Cross the government and you are in big trouble, like Weiwei but cross the triads and your dead, along with your whole family.

  14. G says:

    I sincerely believe that she’s been hooking for quite a while.
    She slept with the right ppl to land those big parts like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon…. this was just the next step I guess.
    And she WISHES she could ever be Gong Li…. She’s like a budget (albeit younger) Michelle Yeoh… Another great actress she’ll never match up to.

    • MsJAPrufrock says:

      Ziyi and Bing Bing wish they could have the international career that Gong Li had in the 90s.

  15. wonderwoman21 says:

    I just love seeing photos of her, she is sooo beautiful! And the dress she is wearing in the first pic…I would do anything to get to wear it! Anything!!!

  16. NerdMomma says:

    Zhang Ziyi is both astoundingly beautiful and a very talented actress, in my opinion. So if she slept her way to roles, at least she had the talent to back it up once she got there. This is a really twisted story, no matter what, but it sure is disappointing. Is Michelle Yeoh in the same boat? Also so beautiful, so talented.

    On the other hand, there sure are a lot of American actresses so devoid of talent that I have to assume they got their roles in some alternative fashion. Maybe someone should expose that system, while we’re at it.

    • LAK says:

      The Hollywood system has been exposed. Where do you think the term casting couch came from?

      Many books naming names etc.

    • Fiona says:

      I’m pretty sure Michelle Yeoh is Malaysian… but married a Hong Kong Chinese? She is mainly based in Hong Kong, though.

  17. LondonParis says:

    Kaiser, I adore your posts but I think Lainey has more of an inside take on this one.
    You mention Ai Weiwei and his treatment at the hands of the Communist Chinese government… I don’t see how that disproves Lainey’s post, though.
    “Ai Weiwei is still alive. He’s still an activist/artist, and one of the most beloved and respected people in China. He’s still allowed to exist and create and speak.”

    Zhang Ziyi is also still alive, still an artist, and beloved worldwide. She is still allowed to exist. That doesn’t meant that the Chinese government hasn’t had their way with her life and her livelihood. There is very little chance that you would have heard about it.
    We are used to the Rachel Uchitel’s and the Heidi Fleiss’s of the world, so it might be easy to assume that such a powerful, well-known woman has more control of her own life than that… but I felt that Lainey’s take was honest, real, and insightful.

  18. Kiki says:

    In other communist countries many beautiful actresses, singers and beauty queens were required to “entertain” powerful political figures. A Hungarian beauty queen, Csilla Molnar committed suicide because of this…and she was only 17!

    In the Middle East it’s not uncommon for rich men to pay $1million or more for sex with famous women. Bridgette Nielsen was alleged to be one of them.

    So Zhang Ziyi having sex with politicians for money is quite believable.

    • flower says:

      A few years ago Pamela Anderson was also said to be on that money-go-round in Europe and the Middle East.

  19. L.YC says:

    I live and work in Hong Kong and China,and love it but Lainey’s take is totally totally right and people should read it and actually its worse than she said. Just because you love your country doesn’t mean you should be blind to problems of your society. And it annoys me that Ai Wei Wei is used as a comparison, thats a interesting and important example of communist strongarm tactics but its a complex issue and quite different to what is happening to Zhang. Also he’s just as much in a dire spot as many actors, we are all hoping for the best but is serious too. And backto actress, if she got any money for ‘favours’ that would be extremely lucky for her, it wouldnt be the sums thrown around here, but it could be some small (really) good to come from what might be happening to her. About Bo – This is a very political and disturbing story but a very common occurance, the isues are about corruption, communism, media manipulation, politics and there are tonnes diversionary tactics being thrown out by the teams of all the different parties involved. Please everyone check your reactions to the smaller story here part about some poor actress, she’s a pawn in a much larger, more confusing pretty darn serious story that needs more serious research.

  20. Maggie says:

    Hi! I live in China and I followed up a lot on the Ai Weiwei situation. No one in China knows who Ai Weiwei is. His father was an important figure during the Cultural Revolution, and after Ai Weiwei was detained, a lot of members of the international art scene made a big deal about it and threatened to remove existing art exhibitions.

    Its hard to have perspective if you are not fully experiencing what goes on in China. A lot of the officials fatten up the CCP and drain a lot of the government’s financial resources on luxury lifestyles including girlfriends/hookers/concubines/etc. This girl is a girlfriend in a lot of ways Americans would consider a hooker. Its a cultural difference that comes from centuries of polygamy as a sign of wealth and luxury.

    I was talking to a couple of guy friends about this last night (its Saturday here), and we all received this information from using VPNs or programs that let us jump over the giant firewall the government has built. Information is tightly controlled, and if there is something that is released, there is an underlying motivation for the government.

    Corruption like this happens on the reg. Just the other day I saw a peddler on the street trying to sell cheap DVDs. A cop (called Changguan which are equivalent to mallcops here) saw the peddler, pushed the stacks of DVDs over, took the guy’s change and walked off.

    Systematic sex trade is common, but its not slavery here. Well, I guess they are slaves to the money?

    BTW I love this site. Kthx.

    • Maggie says:

      Oh! Also I want to say that any gradual feelings you have towards China is because a lot of news distributors are being bought by Chinese companies and we are now experiencing some form of censorship led by these organizations. Keep that in mind!

  21. S says:

    You are also continuing to spread the vicious rumours.
    Here an anti-corruption journalist was tortured in prison: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/4747739-activist-and-journalist-qi-chonghuai-tortured-in-prison
    Here is just a small example of Chinese government persecuting a peaceful religion: http://www.cchrint.org/2010/04/01/stop-the-chinese-government%E2%80%99s-psychiatric-torture-of-falun-gong-practitioners/
    although there is more graphic sites showing what has been done to these people online.
    Seriously, Until you understand Chinese culture, you really shouldn’t say “their government is not all-powerful”. There are plently more activists that have ended up in the Chinese gulags–Lainey knows what she’s talking about.

  22. Goofpuff says:

    Lainey is right. She’s been there, she knows what it’s like. I don’t think any of you truly understand what the Chinese government is truly like. I can believe they are using Zhang to deflect fom Bo murdering a British citizen.

  23. amoi says:

    i dont think it’s okay to say an entire race of people has a genetic defect of corruption, greed, etc. as a Chinese person she has leeway to judge her own culture but we must be reminded that there is a difference between genetics and culture. quite obviously an older civilization would have more issues than newer ones…i mean look at the middle east. my comment is not meant to defend the negative…Chinese or not, to say a group of people have a genetic defect or ONLY chinese people would do this or that is ignorant, just sayin.

    • Anmelt says:

      I know, I agree with some things in her post but that bit about it being genetic is pretty damn offensive. Is her own dad like that? Is an american born chinese like that? A Taiwanese? I know loads of chinese born and raised outside china, in asia and europe and they sure are NOT like what she describes.

  24. Vivien says:

    In the Chinese community this Zhang = prostitute was considered “knowledge” back when she did Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. By knowledge I mean persistent rumour. I think I remember rumours of her sleeping her way into roles- all the Chinese “adults” I knew back in 2000 certainly held this view (or read the same Chinese gossip magazines). I don’t particularly care, I still really like her.

    Oh by Chinese community I mean those living in Australia, and not even from China, but from Malaysia and Macau.