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 Xinhuasaid today.
Fan appeared in the X-Men and Iron Man film franchises and has more than 62 million followers online in China.
She was fined more than 479 million yuan (about US$70 million) personally and ordered to pay more than 288 million yuan in unpaid taxes, and her companies were fined a total of 125 million yuan. If she pays the huge sum of money, she will escape criminal prosecution as it's her first offense.
Though this is the first fans have heard from her in months, it's still unclear where she actually is, and whether she is in fact being detained by Chinese authorities as many have speculated.
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But she disappeared from the public eye and her once active social media presence went silent in May after allegations emerged that she had evaded taxes on a lucrative movie shoot, charges her studio called "slander". "Here, I sincerely apologize to everyone".
"I failed my country which nurtured me; I failed the society which trusted me; I failed the fans who liked me", Fan reportedly said, according to translations. "I have reflected on my actions".
Although Ms Fan denied the accusations and Mr Cui eventually walked back his claims, China's State Administration of Taxation announced shortly after that it was looking into the claims of tax evasion involving celebrities.
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