Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing, best known to Western audiences for her role as Blink in X-Men: Days of Future Past, reportedly faces more than $100 million in fines and back taxes, which she says she will pay.
Speculation began to swirl about the popular actress, model and pop singer after she was accused of tax evasion in May by a Chinese television presenter. Fan stopped updating her social media account on June 3, and disappeared from public view on July 1. Following months of rumors, Chinese authorities finally confirmed last month that Fan had been arrested, placed “under control, and will accept the legal decision.”
Fan was ccused of engaging in "yin-yang contracts," a common practice in China. It's a scheme in which an actor takes multiple contracts for the same project, and submits the one for the lowest pay to the government, thus avoiding harsher taxation. Fan’s production company on July 3 denied any wrongdoing.
But China's state news outlet Xinhau reported today that the actress faces about $70 million in fines, and another $37 million in back taxes (The Hollywood Reporter notes that other media outlets suggests the total could reach as high as $128 million). That's a steep bill, to be sure, but if Fan were to pay it, she would escape criminal prosecution.
China's highest-paid actress, Fan posted a public apology today on her Weibo social media account, acknowledged utilizing yin-yang contracts, and pledged to raise the money to repay what she owes.
"Today I’m facing enormous fears and worries over the mistakes I have made," she wrote, in part. "I failed my country which nurtured me; I failed the society which trusted me; I failed the fans who loved me. I offer my sincere apology here once again! I beg for everyone’s forgiveness!"