Concerns are mounting over Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who has apparently not been seen in public ‘for months’.
The 36-year-old actress is known in the west for her role as the mutant Blink in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but has a career spanning 20 years in China and is the country’s highest-paid actress.
There are now rumours that she has fallen foul of the Chinese authorities, and may even have been arrested and detained for tax evasion.
One story from Chinese state-run publication Securities Daily, which went viral on Chinese social media, reported that she had been ‘placed under control’ by authorities, and was willing to ‘accept the legal decision’, however the story was later retracted.
But The Hollywood Reporter has also cited rumours from a Hong Kong tabloid that she has fled the regime in China, and is now seeking asylum in the US, having been ‘spotted’ at an immigration office in Los Angeles.
That report went on to suggest that she was following advice given to her by martial arts legend Jackie Chan, though his reps denied any involvement as ‘nonsense’.
It follows news that the star was recently ranked last in the 2017-2018 China Film and Television Star Social Responsibility Report, an official report authored by academics at Beijing Normal University, which judged celebrities on ‘professional work, charitable actions and personal integrity’.
She was said have scored 0% in the report.
Over the summer, Bingbing was also under fire for allegedly taking part in the practice of ‘yin-yang contracting’, essentially the falsification of contracts to hide real earnings from tax authorities.
Leaked documents in China suggested that she had earned around $1.5 million for working on a forthcoming Chinese movie, but in fact had earned nearly $8 million.
According to THR, Reps for the actress denied the accusations strenuously, and were reportedly seeking legal advice on potentially pressing charges for slander.
Bingbing is reportedly set to appear in an upcoming US thriller called 355 with Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o and Penelope Cruz.