Actress sues over prostitution claims
Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi has sued Hong Kong's leading newspaper, the Apple Daily, and its sister weekly, Next Magazine, over reports that she prostituted herself to senior Chinese officials.
The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star signed the suit presented to the Hong Kong High Court on Monday, saying the reports were "seriously defamatory" and "false". An article on May 29 said Zhang "is a prostitute" and had had sex for money with disgraced top Chinese official Bo Xilai and his wealthy associate, Xu Ming, on "numerous occasions".
The tabloid also alleged that the 33-year-old actress had sex with other top officials and "unnamed rich persons", and had accrued a fortune of 700-million yuan (R920-million) over 10 years.
"The plaintiff has been subjected to public odium, hatred, contempt or ridicule," the actress's suit said. She said she would ask for unspecified damages.
"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."
Apple Daily, a Chinese-language newspaper known for its racy celebrity gossip, did not reply to requests for comment on the suit.
The story was removed from the newspaper's website after Zhang threatened to sue last month.
Zhang also denied the paper's assertion that she was under investigation by Chinese authorities and was barred from leaving China.