n the latest celebrity scandal to consume the Chinese internet, popular actor Wu Xiubo has been accused of tricking his former mistress into coming back to China so that she would be arrested for extortion.
Wu, 50, has been the star of many Chinese TV series and rom-com flicks over the years. Married since 2002 and with two children, he had long been considered to be an all-around great guy until this past September.
At that time, with rumors swirling around about his various affairs, a young Chinese actress and singer named Chen Yulin gave a detailed description of her seven-year-long extramarital relationship with the older actor. In her WeChat Moments, Chen wrote that Wu had manipulated her into becoming a housewife for him while he was out filming, discouraging her from taking on any acting work. She claimed to have spent almost all of 2016 in a hotel room doing his laundry and cooking him meals while he was working on a TV show.
Afterward, neither Chen nor Wu responded publicly to these accusations and the scandal soon faded away.
However, it returned in full-force over the weekend with Chen’s parents posting an open letter onto their daughter’s Weibo account claiming that Chen had been arrested by Beijing police in November after being set up by Wu.
According to Chen’s parents, Chen and Wu had come to an agreement where their daughter wouldn’t expose any more of Wu’s secrets in exchange for a “break-up fee.” Chen also agreed to leave the country until things calmed down. However, Wu only paid a small amount of the money that was promised and eventually summoned Chen back to China so that they could “discuss matters.”
Soon after landing at the Beijing airport, Chen was arrested on suspicion of spreading false information and extortion. She could face as many as 10 years in prison if convicted.
Though Wu himself has so far stayed out of the fray, his wife, He Zhengya, has broken her own silence, posting a statement onto Weibo claiming that for more than a year her family had been threatened with blackmail. With Wu’s mistress demanding tens of millions of yuan to end their relationship, his wife said that eventually they were left with no choice but to go to the authorities.
Fallout from the scandal has mostly fallen upon Wu. A hashtag has gone viral on Weibo asking, “Are there any good men left in the entertainment industry?” and none other than Wang Sicong, the celebrity son of one of China’s richest men, has gained support for publicly calling Wu “garbage.”
Wu has a movie that’s set to open on the first day of the Chinese New Year (Feb. 5th) called “A Boyfriend For My Girlfriend.”