The Beijing Chaoyang district police wrote on their official Weibo late Saturday: “In response to internet reports ‘Wu Xfan has repeatedly tricked young women into having sex’ and other related issues, after police investigations, Wu Xfan (male, 30, Canadian) has been detained for the suspected crime of rape in accordance with the law.”
Within just 25 minutes, the post garnered 3.33 million likes.
The move marks a milestone for China’s treatment of sexual assault cases in the entertainment industry. Sexual assault scandals involving Chinese celebrities are very rarely resolved quickly. Female victims often choose to remain silent about their experiences because those who do step forward to lodge formal complaints with the authorities often find themselves in a drawn-out civil suit rather than a criminal suit.
This case, which has ignited the Chinese internet for weeks, appears to be different.
A 19-year-old college student, Du Meizhu, has been the public face of the accusations against Wu. Since early July, she has been claiming via social media that he allegedly got her drunk at a party and date raped her, and that he has done the same to at least seven other young women, often found via casting calls or selected from his fan groups.
The detention comes even though the police ruled last week that Du and friend with whom she had written her initial posts had done so “in order to enhance their own popularity online.” It also ruled that conflicting claims about an alleged settlement between the Wu and Du camps were the result of a third-party man defrauding both sides.
Wu has denied the allegations in the past, writing via social media: “I only met this woman once on Dec. 5, 2020 while with a group of friends… I declare I have never done anything like ‘selecting concubines,’ coercing women into sex, drugging people to rape them, or engaging with underage girls! If there really had been this behavior, I would certainly willingly go to jail.” Wu’s representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.
Wu is one of China’s highest profile celebrities.
More to come…