Fan Bingbing, the superstar Chinese actress who has been AWOL from public view since June amid rumors of tax evasion, faces a $70 million government fine, state-run media outlet Xinhua said today. The report cites Chinas taxation authorities.
The Middle Kingdoms highest-paid actress disappeared without a trace, and speculation had been building for weeks that it might be linked to a tax-evasion case. A clue to her whereabouts came on September 6, when an article in Securities Daily, part of Chinas state-run media, said she had been brought “under control and about to receive legal judgment.” The article then was deleted.
Bingbings purported problems began when alleged copies of a film contract she had signed were leaked onto Chinas social media in late May.
Since then, the government has been mum about the actress, who is known to American audiences for her roles the X-Men franchise and other films and has been a regular on international red carpets. Her disappearance had called into question her casting in director Simon Kinbergs hot Cannes spy thriller 355 — also starring Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyongo — among other films.
At least one major local films release has been postponed indefinitely amid the ongoing situation.