Entertainment News

  • 19 December 2013, 14:23

Zhang Ziyi Settles 'Prostitute' Libel Case

Actress Zhang Ziyi has settled a libel case against a website that accused her of being a prostitute.

The Chinese starof Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had brought the lawsuit against the US-based site Boxun News.

Reports, beginning in May 2012, had falsely said she was paid to have sex with Chinese government officials.

The website regularly alleges human rights violations and political scandals in China, where it is blocked.

A statement from the website said: "These false reports about Zhang Ziyi should never have been published.

"As a result, Boxun News now renders its unreserved apology to Zhang Ziyi, has removed the entire series of articles about Zhang Ziyi from the Boxun News website, and issues this formal retraction."

The lawsuit was brought against China Free Press Inc and its founder Weican Null Meng.

According to Los Angeles court documents, Zhang complained that Boxun News had repeatedly published untrue reports that she was a prostitute who earned more than $100m by having sexual relations with Chinese government officials and others.

The claims caused a stir in China because one of the officials they alleged she has slept with was Bo Xilai, a former prominent politician imprisoned for corruption and abuse of power.

Zhang, who also starred in Rush Hour 2 and Memoirs Of A Geisha, disputed Boxun's allegation that she was working on behalf of the Chinese government to damage the website's reputation.

Court documents said she had suffered approximately $250,000 (153,000) in specific damages, in addition to general damages for injury to her reputation, and that she also sought punitive damages.

The defendants initially argued their reports were protected by the first amendment of the US Constitution that covers free speech.

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