Zhang Ziyi has been fighting a defamation story of her being paid for sex by Chinese government officials. On Tuesday, December 17, she reached an undisclosed settlement with one of the media that published the reports, a U.S. based news website called Boxun News.
Ziyi filed for a lawsuit in a Los Angeles court against China Free Press (CFP), Inc., a North Carolina non-profit corporation devoted to promoting free speech and democracy in China, and its founder Weican Null Meng, a U.S. citizen. She complained that Boxun News, which stays under CFP's wings, repeatedly published false reports of her earning millions of dollars for sleeping with Chinese politicians and others.
The reports, which began in May 2012, then spread worldwide and caused a stir in China because one of the men she allegedly had sex with was a defamed politician Bo Xilai. The "Memoirs of a Geisha" star also denied Boxun's report that she worked for the Chinese government to damage the website's reputation. She claimed damage to her reputation and business interests.
Boxun has since retracted its reports, calling them "negative and untrue", and posted an apology on its website Wednesday. "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," said Boxun.
Meng said the articles were based on information given by anonymous sources "who cannot support the information reported". He never revealed the sources because they would be arrested, imprisoned and even tortured in China if they are exposed. Meng added that he was not allowed to speak to the media about the case.
Back in May 2012, Ziyi, who claimed her fame through "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon", also asked for an apology from a Hong Kong newspaper that published the same story. "The accusations made against award-winning actress Zhang Ziyi are completely false and defamatory," Ziyi's rep told the press at that time. She reportedly was under police investigation and not allowed to leave the country.