Chinese-Canadian rapper-turned-actor Kris Wu, one of China’s biggest stars, has been ditched by a host of big brands after being accused of luring young girls, including teenage girls, to sleep with him.
The allegations sparked a tsunami of social media outcry in China, with many Wu demanding to quit the entertainment industry and leave the country for good.
The controversy began with allegations made by 19-year-old former fan Du Meizhu, who says Wu, 30, lured her to his home when she was only 17 with the promise of an audition. , but continued to make her drink alcohol and have sex. with her after she passed out. Du gave an interview to Chinese website NetEase on Sunday, saying she knew at least eight other women – two of whom were minors – who allege similar experiences with Wu. The age of consent in China is 14.
Wu publicly denied the charges and said he was suing for libel.
Wu rose to fame in Asia as a member of the popular K-pop boy group Exo, but returned to China in 2014 to explore a solo career as a model, singer and actor. He has become one of China’s top-grossing stars – a staple of television variety shows, the face of dozens of major fashion campaigns in the country, a fairly popular actor, and a successful solo artist. He has appeared in several big Chinese box office hits, such as Mr. Six (2015) and Journey to the West: Demons Strike Back (2017), as well as a few Hollywood films – which aimed to woo the Chinese market – like that of Vin Diesel xXx: The Return of Alex Cage and the failures of Luc Besson’s mega-budget Valérian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
chinese tabloid World time reported that Wu had previously attempted to pay Du about 500,000 yuan ($ 77,166) in secret money not to talk about his story. The 19-year-old has since started repaying the funds and said she wanted to take legal action against Wu.
From Sunday evening, World time said the topic “NetEase Interview with Du Meizhu” had been viewed over 1.66 billion times on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media service in China. On the service’s entertainment list, eight of the top 10 searches were related to Wu.
As one of China’s most visible celebrities, Wu is the face of dozens of brands in the country, including Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Porsche, Lancôme, L’Oréal, Kans, Master Kong Iced Tea, Tuborg Brewery, household cleaning products maker Liby, kitchen appliance maker Vatti, Tencent Video streaming platform and Tencent video game King of glory.
By Sunday, almost all Chinese brands had abandoned it and many international companies had started to distance themselves.
Louis Vuitton released a brief statement on Weibo on Monday evening, saying it “takes the allegations against Kris Wu very seriously and has suspended his relationship with Kris Wu until the outcome of the judicial inquiry is known.” . Bulgari and Porsche have also cut ties since.
Wu made his first statement in response to the allegations on Monday, writing on Weibo, “I didn’t respond sooner because I didn’t want to interfere with legal proceedings… but I can’t take it anymore. He said he met Du once at a party at a friend’s house, but denied other details of his account. “If I did any of the things [she claims], I’m going to go to jail, ”he added.