Fan Bingbing, one of China’s most popular actresses, has not been seen since in months — but she has broken her silence to address her massive tax evasion fines.
Fan was fined by Chinese tax authorities, Xinhua first reported. According to Bloomberg, Fan and her companies were fined 884 million yuan, which is equivalent to $ 129 million. Fan is responsible for $ 70 million of the fines.
Fan will not be charged if she pays back the money within a time limit, The Hollywood Reporter said that Xinhua reported. A person from her company, however, is reportedly in custody.
Fan made a statement about her situation on Weibo. She started, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “Recently I have been enduring an unprecedented amount of pain, undergoing deep self-reflection and introspection. I am deeply ashamed and feel guilty for what I have done, and I offer my sincere apologies to everyone.”
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The X-Men actress said, “I have come to realize that, as a public figure, I should have observed the law, setting a good example for society and the entertainment industry. I shouldn’t have lost the ability to control myself in the face of economic interests, allowing myself to break the law.”
Fan noted that she committed tax evasion “by taking advantage of ‘yin yang contracts’” and that she accepted the fines.
She continued, “As an actor, I take pride in showcasing our country’s culture on the global stage, and I do my best to be in the forefront of this. I owe my success to the support of my country and the people. Without the great policies of the Party and the state, without the love of the people, there would have been no Fan Bingbing.”
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“I failed my country which nurtured me; I failed the society which trusted me; I failed the fans who loved me,” she wrote. “I offer my sincere apology here once again! I beg for everyone’s forgiveness!”
One of the last times Fan was seen in public was at May’s Cannes Film Festival to promote the female spy thriller 355, which costars Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o and Marion Cotillard.
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Fan’s disappearance from public life made the news when state-run Chinese paper Securities Daily wrote that she was “under control” and “would accept the legal decision.” The story was then pulled by the outlet.
One rumor, that Fan was seeking asylum in Los Angeles, spread after Hong Kong’s The Apple Daily said that Jackie Chan had advised her to go to an immigration office. Chan’s company labeled the allegation “nonsense,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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