Zhang Ziyi is still furious over allegations that she has raked in well over $100 million by sleeping with high-ranking Chinese government officials.
She's already filed a libel lawsuit against two publications that spread the story, but now her attorney is speaking out about the case. John Mason, the man who filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in California, told sources:
"Zhang Ziyi is not a prostitute, never has been a prostitute, never met this person that she's alleged to have this very expensive sexual relationship with."
Obviously it's not fun to be accused of being a prostitute (especially when you're already a successful actress), but Ziyi is particularly pissed because she was never contacted to comment on the validity of the story.
The publication reporting the story, however, maintains it "merely published what it believed to be true as provided by an anonymous source."
Hmm…yes, anonymous sources aren't always the most reliable.
Mason continued to explain that the lack of evidence presented in the story makes it seem like the publication was out to damage her career, saying:
"They don't even have a photograph or a statement from anybody that she ever met him. People put stories out there often enough just to get attention, just to get more readers…This is outrageous in its face in the way it was intended to damage her career. You don't call somebody a prostitute and allege multimillion-dollar sex acts without having some evidence."
And it sounds like Mason isn't going to back down until he gets some answers. Or his client gets a bunch of money. The lawyer expressed his determination by saying:
"No matter what it takes and no matter what it costs, we really do intend to bring these people into court and find out why they published what they did and where this information came from. From our side, we can't put this genie back in the bottle, but we can definitely get to the bottom of where the bottle came from."
He's got a good point. Once the idea has been planted in the public's mind that Zhang Ziyi might have profited from sex, it's pretty much impossible to get that seed back.
Until someone fesses up with the truth, some people will always be wondering, "What if…?"
[Image via WENN.]