Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who is a hot commodity among Western luxury brands including Louis Vuitton and Chopard, announced on Weibo on July 13 that she is in the process of filing a lawsuit against the fugitive billionaire and political activist Guo Wengui in the United States for making what she claims are untruthful statements about her in the international media.
Wengui is known for taking to social media and youtube to criticize and bring attention to the political system in China and he has continued to conduct a political agenda to bring attention to alleged corruption in China from his New York home. He opened a Twitter account in early 2017, frequently criticizing individuals within the Chinese establishment.
In one of his Youtube posts in late June, Wengui said that Fan Bingbing had slept with Wang Qishan, the head of China’s anti-graft watchdog agency who is also believed to be the second most powerful person in Beijing.
In Fan’s statement, which was released by her studio and also posted on her personal account, Fan wrote that Guo Wengui’s untruthful claims about her are a fabrication and are not based on fact. She claims that this “malicious slander” has damaged her reputation and demands that he immediately stop spreading those false statements and bear the legal consequences of his actions.
Representing Fan in the US is the LA-based entertainment law firm Lavely & Singer. When reached for comment, the law firm confirmed that they’re representing Fan and are preparing a suit against Wengui but declined to comment further.
Wengui, who now lives in New York, is a Chinese real estate tycoon who used to own a controlling stake in Beijing Zenith Holdings and Beijing Pangu Investment. In 2015, the financial publication Caixin described him as a “power hunter” for his knack for navigating the complicated political world in China to serve his personal interests.
He fled to the United States roughly two years ago, according to an article published by SupChina. Since the beginning of this year, Guo has frequently talked to foreign media such as Ming Jing and turned to Twitter to reveal rumors of the Chinese Communist Party, including the one on Fan Bingbing.
Fan Bingbing is not the only person who has sued Guo for defamation. Hu Shuli, the Founder of Caixin Media, and the conglomerate HNA Group have done the same in response to Guo’s allegedly slanderous statements, according to the South China Morning Post.
As an actress, Fan Bingbing has gained a number of great achievements in recent years. She just attended the 70th Cannes Film Festival as a jury member this past May. In 2010, she won the Best Actress award for Buddha Mountain at the Tokyo International Film Festival, and in 2016, she won an award in the same category for I Am Not Madame Bovary at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain.
Fan’s fashion sensibilities and influence over luxury brands have also been recognized through the longtime collaboration with many international brands, including the big player Louis Vuitton. It remains to be seen if the dispute with Wengui will pose any negative impact on her relationship with luxury brands.