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Pop star accused of rape, detained by Beijing police

By CAO YIN | China Daily | Updated: 2021-08-02 07:46

Chinese-Canadian singer and actor Kris Wu performs at the Super Bowl Live Concert held at the VerizonUp Stage on the corner of Nicollet Mall and 8th Street in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, Feb 3, 2018. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Singer and actor Kris Wu, one of China's most high-profile celebrities, has been detained on suspicion of rape.

In a statement posted on Saturday night on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like Chinese social media platform, police from Beijing's Chaoyang district said a 30-year-old Chinese-Canadian man surnamed Wu has been placed under investigation after being accused of tricking young women into having sex.

The police gave no more details in the Weibo post but said the investigation was ongoing.

The statement quickly went viral on Chinese social media, and many Chinese media outlets, including People's Daily, soon confirmed the detained man was Wu.

Wu's case triggered huge public attention last month when a woman calling herself Du Meizhu posted statements online alleging he had lured young women and girls under the age of 18 to have sex by claiming he was recruiting actresses. Du said she was one of the victims.

The allegation sparked massive outrage toward Wu, who has more than 50 million followers on Weibo. Several brands severed ties with the star, and some of his promotional activities were canceled.

Wu, who was born in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, denied the allegation on his micro blog on July 19. His studio later accused Du of lying, and it reported the case to the police.

After a preliminary investigation, the police disclosed some facts in a statement issued on July 22.

It said Du, 18, met Wu at a party at his home on Dec 5 after his agent cast her in a music video. They drank alcohol and had sex the next morning. Wu transferred 32,000 yuan ($4,900) to Du on Dec 8 so she could go shopping, and the two kept in touch until April.

In June, Du and one of her friends decided to expose her relationship with Wu to boost her fame on the internet and started publishing stories via Weibo, the statement said.

A blogger surnamed Xu later joined their effort, posting more than 10 influential articles targeting Wu via Du's Weibo account since July 16.

Police also said in the statement that a man surnamed Liu had been detained on July 18 for allegedly taking advantage of online arguments between Wu and Du to commit fraud.

The police said they had received a report from Wu's mother on July 14 claiming Wu and his team had been blackmailed by Du. After an investigation, the police came to suspect Liu was the blackmailer.

In an effort to gain Du's trust, Liu, 23, allegedly cooked up a female identity and contacted Du posing as a young woman who also claimed to have been lured into having sex with Wu. By doing so, he obtained details of Du's interactions with Wu.

Police said Liu then used those details to demand money from Wu's team, while at the same time pretending to be Wu's lawyer to trick Du into signing a fake settlement agreement in which he would be the one to profit.

Liu confessed to the fraud after being detained, the police added.

Wu first shot to fame as a member of the K-pop boyband EXO. He left the group in 2014 to start his solo career as a singer and actor.

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