Where in the world is Fan Bingbing? That's been the question entertainment pundits have been asking themselves ever since Chinese actress Fan Bingbing disappeared from the public's eye following her tax evasion scandal. Well, they have to wonder no more now that the star was spotted leaving the Beijing airport yesterday (Oct 15). It's said that this is the first time Bingbing's been seen in public in 135 days. Reporters noted that the star, who was all decked out in black, looked skinnier than usual and that she was shielded by a big black umbrella before getting ushered into a car . The scandal-plagued star got into trouble with the Chinese authorities when it was revealed that she had signed double (or yin-yang) contracts to evade taxes. It was also later revealed that Bingbing and the companies she represented had further evaded 248 million yuan in additional taxes. On Oct 3, it was reported that the 37-year-old actress was slapped with a 883 million yuan (S$176 million) fine, which she paid up in full in two days. She then reportedly listed 41 apartments (yes, 41) in Beijing for sale.
Letter of apology
After news of her fine made headlines, Bingbing posted this message on Weibo, saying that she's "deeply ashamed" about the under-reporting of income and that she had "lost self-discipline in the face of monetary benefit" As for those wondering what she was up to during the period that she was MIA, Bingbing gave few clues in her message. "I have experienced unprecedented pain and agony in recent months," she wrote. "I have reflected on my actions. I am ashamed of what I have done, and I deeply regret my actions. I apologise sincerely to everyone."
Two days before Bingbing resurfaced in public, her boyfriend Li Chen also made a public appearance, albeit on social media. Chinese actress Yang Caiyu posted this photo of her and Li Chen (second from right) along with the rest of the cast of his new movie Seven Days. Reporters noted that the actor looked visibly tired and skinnier, which may have been a result of work stress, rather then late nights worrying about his girlfriend as what the Chinese press have suggested.
Putting it out there
Li Chen also posted this message on Weibo on the same day Bingbing apologised for her actions. He wrote: "No matter how difficult, we will tide over this together". This is also the only post left on his Weibo after deleting all his previous posts. We guess Bingbing and Li Chen are both hoping for a fresh start.