AceShowbiz - "Where is Fan Bingbing?" is probably the biggest question posed by Chinese movie fans today. Bingbing, one of the country's most famous actresses, has disappeared since June amid an uproar over tax evasion by celebrities.
One of China's highest-paid and most bankable stars, the 37-year-old actress, model, television and pop singer has not been seen in public after she visited a children's hospital in Tibet. She was a red carpet regular at major awards which makes her disappearance even more peculiar.
Her disappearance is quickly related to tax evasion matters after Securities Daily, part of the state-run media, published an article on September 6 saying that Bingbing had been brought "under control and about to receive legal judgment." The article has since been deleted.
Earlier this year, Bingbing found herself at the center of a public scandal over "yin and yang contracts," in which stars allegedly have two contracts for one gig, with one contract stating their actual salary and another showing a lower wage number to submit to tax authorities.
The documents, which were leaked by a "disgruntled TV host," attempted to reveal "an alleged tax-dodge scheme by an unnamed major star-instantly identified online as Fan." However, the actress' representatives denied she was the one referred to in the documents.
The government refuses to comment on the speculation, as no criminal charges have been brought against the actress or anyone associated with her disappearance. Her party has not released any official statement either regarding her whereabouts.
Meanwhile, another theory suggests that Bingbing is in hiding or may have fled to Los Angeles to seek asylum. Supporting this speculation, Hong Kong tabloid reported in August that Fan was spotted at an L.A. immigration office and cited an anonymous "industry source" as saying Fan fled to America per Jackie Chan's advice. The Hong Kong martial artist/actor has denied the claim, though.
Bingbing starred in Hollywood superhero blockbuster "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014) and is set to appear in upcoming female-driven thriller "355" along with Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o and Penelope Cruz.