“X-Men: Days of Future Past” actress Fan Bingbing is reportedly in custody after accusations of evading taxes in her native China.
Fans had been concerned about the whereabouts of the 36-year-old actress/pop star and her boyfriend, actor Li Chen, as neither has reportedly been seen in public since July 1. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Bingbing has also apparently vanished from social media in recent months.
According to BBC News, rumours have swirled ever since Chinese authorities revealed that Bingbing — one of China’s most popular and highest-paid performers — was being investigated for tax evasion.
Earlier this summer, reports emerged that Chinese authorities suspected Bingbing of using “yin-yang contracts” to evade taxes, a common practice in China in which an actor is paid one sum while a bogus contract is created — listing a substantially lower sum — that is presented to the government for tax purposes.
Oddly, Chinese state-run publication Securities Daily published a story online, which was then deleted a few hours later, reporting that Bingbing had been placed “under control, and will accept the legal decision.” In addition, the report claimed that “yin-yang contracts are only the tip of the iceberg. She is also suspected of participating in illegal lending and other forms of corruption. In the worst case, she faces legal punishment.”
Perhaps not coincidentally, Bingbing received a failing grade in a new government-funded academic study. Released on Tuesday, the 2017-2018 China Film and Television Star Social Responsibility Report from the state-funded Beijing Normal University, which rated the country’s celebrities based on their “professional work, charitable actions and personal integrity,” gave Bingbing a rating of zero per cent, deeming her “not socially responsible.”
Bingbing had been cast in upcoming all-female spy thriller “355” but it’s not known if she will be available for filming given her current circumstances.