For months now, Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has been the subject of much speculation. The actress, who is a massive star in China, is probably best known in the U.S. for her role as the mutant Blink in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Recently it has seemed like Fan Bingbing disappeared through one of Blink's portals because, following news that linked her to a possible tax evasion scandal, the actress vanished and hasn't been seen in public or on her social media platforms since July. Now the actress has resurfaced, and is offering a full apology and accepted responsibility for her actions. You can read part of Fan Bingbing's letter of apology below:
Recently I have endured an unprecedented amount of pain, undergoing deep self-reflection and introspection. I feel ashamed and guilty for what I did, and here, I offer my sincere apology to everyone. For a long period of time, I did not uphold the responsibility of safeguarding the interests of my country and our society against my personal interests. I feel ashamed that I committed tax evasion in Unbreakable Spirit and other projects by taking advantage of "split contracts." Throughout these days of my cooperation with the taxation authorities' investigation of my accounts as well as my company's, I have realized that, as a public figure, I should've observed the law, setting a good example for society and the industry. I shouldn't have lost my ability to govern myself in the face of economic interests, leading myself to break the law. Here I sincerely apologize to society, friends who care about me, the public and the taxation authorities.
As you can see, Fan Bingbing is deeply apologetic and regretful in this letter. She admits to putting her own desires in front of her civic responsibility by committing tax evasion on multiple projects. The time spent under investigation by the taxation authorities seems to have changed her outlook. She claims to see now that as a public figure she must set a better example, and not give in to temptations that result in law breaking. Elsewhere in her apology, as reported by Variety, Fan Bingbing says that in the future, she will uphold the law and accept responsibility. Bingbing also begs for everyone's forgiveness and credits the country and its people for her success, especially the ruling Communist Party and its policies.
Fan Bingbing was suspected of, and has now fessed up to, tax evasion that is reportedly very common in the entertainment industry in China. The highly paid actress was allegedly signing multiple contracts for the same job. This practice is known as "yin yang contracts" or "split contracts." This process gives a person one contract for a job, like a role in a movie, for a lower rate that they can present to the government for taxation purposes. They also receive a second contract with better pay that they don't report, which means they are essentially making all that money under the table. Fan Bingbing and her companies now face $129 million in back taxes and fines, which she vowed to pay.
Rumors have abounded about what happened to Fan Bingbing over the past few months, with many assuming that she was being detained by Chinese authorities either in prison or under house arrest. Some rumors had even said that she fled the country, though those proved unfounded. It should be noted that although Fan Bingbing has made this public statement and apology, thus breaking the months-long silence from China's highest-paid actress, she has not yet been seen in public.
It's hard to know whether or not these legal issues will affect her upcoming film slate but in addition to her Chinese films, Fan Bingbing has been attached to star in 355 for director Simon Kinberg. The film is an all-female spy film featuring a cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, and Lupita Nyong'O.
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