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Kris Wu scandal: China sentences Exo K-pop star to 13 years in jail

Today, a Chinese court issued a 13-year prison sentence for a former Kenyan-Canadian star who raped three drunk women, including a 17-year-old female student.

Kris Wu, 32, was a part of K-pop boyband EXO and left in 2014, launching his successful career as a singer, actor, model, and variety show judge.

Student Du Meizu, 19, last year accused Wu of raping her when she was 17, leading to a barrage of public criticism and luxury brands striking deals with him. It was revealed that he raped three women in his home from November to December 2020.

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Wu, who grew up in Guangzhou, China and Vancouver, British Columbia, was sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison for rape and one year and 10 months for gathering people to commit adultery.

Kris Wu, 32, was sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison for rape and one year and ten months for gathering people to commit adultery. It was revealed that he raped three women in his home from November to December 2020

Last year, 19-year-old student Du Meizhou accused Wu of raping her when she was 17, prompting a barrage of public criticism and a luxury branding deal with him.

Last year, 19-year-old student Du Meizhou accused Wu of raping her when she was 17, prompting a barrage of public criticism and a luxury branding deal with him.

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The 32-year-old will serve 13 years in prison before being deported. The former pop star was also fined 600 million yuan ($84 million) for tax evasion.

Xinhua reported that Wu used fake labor to change the nature of his income and falsely advertise it.

It also evaded 95 million yuan in taxes by hiding personal income through various domestic and overseas subsidiaries and underpaying 84 million yuan in taxes.

A Canadian diplomat was in court to hear the verdict

The 32-year-old was once one of China’s most popular stars. However, due to the case, brands including Louis Vuitton and Bulgari have suspended partnerships with him.

More victims also spoke out after the initial allegations, accusing Wu’s staff of aggressive behaviour. They were reportedly invited to noisy karaoke parties.

This came after the Chinese government launched a sweeping crackdown on celebrity culture last summer – Wu’s case was at the heart of the matter.

Around the same time as Wu’s arrest, actress Cheng Shuang was hit with a $46 million tax evasion fine. References to movie star Zhao Wei have also been removed from video streaming sites.

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The 32-year-old will serve 13 years in prison before being deported.  The former pop star was also fined 600 million yuan ($84 million) for tax evasion.

The 32-year-old will serve 13 years in prison before being deported. The former pop star was also fined 600 million yuan ($84 million) for tax evasion.

Chinese authorities said at the time that they were targeting unhealthy values ​​and “unnatural aesthetics”, and ordered broadcasters to cut reality talent shows and stop giving airtime to “sissy” men and “vulgar influencers”.

The moves also aimed at strengthening the ideological control of the Communist Party and limiting outside influences that could pose a threat to its rule, according to critics.

In the aftermath of the scandal with Wu, the hashtags “Girls Helping Girls”, “Girls Helping Girls”, and “Girls Helping Girls Time”, used to express solidarity with Wu’s victims, were banned from Chinese social media.

The Weibo hashtag “Law is the lowest standard of morality” had 830 million views. Users have complained about the high legal threshold required for victims to prove sexual assault in court.

Wu was arrested last August. The police statement said he was “criminally detained” on suspicion of rape “in response to relevant information posted online” including that he “repeatedly solicited young women to have sexual relations”. It gave no other details.

Beijing police have arrested Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu on suspicion of rape.  It's seen in 2017 above

Beijing police have arrested Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu on suspicion of rape. It’s seen in 2017 above

Du Meizhu posted her accusations on social media and later in an interview with Internet portal NetEase.

A day after that interview surfaced, at least 10 brands, including Porsche and Louis Vuitton, cut endorsements and other deals with Wu.

There was no “group sex”! There was no “minor”! Wu wrote last year on his social media account.

The accusations: Wu, 30, was earlier accused by a teenager of having sex with her while she was drunk.  Wu denied the accusation

The accusations: Wu, 30, was earlier accused by a teenager of having sex with her while she was drunk. Wu denied the accusation

“If there was such a thing, please relax everyone, I would have put myself in jail!”

Both the teen and Wu said they had asked authorities to investigate.

When the scandal around Wu broke, a wave of women emerged in 2018 as part of the #MeToo movement, expressing their experiences of sexual harassment. These sometimes included powerful public figures.

The feminist movement has been suppressed by Beijing, which has arrested dozens of student activists in a display of a zero-tolerance approach to those deemed potential threats to its control.

Screenwriter Zhou Xiaoxuan filed a landmark case against prominent TV anchor Zhou Jun that was dismissed last year, and an appeal was also rejected by a Beijing court in August.

On the other hand, tennis star Peng Shuai made sexual assault allegations against a prominent Communist Party politician, which sparked an international outcry last year. Her allegations were quickly censored inside China and she later denied the accusation.

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