Actress records alleged sexual harassment on blog

Updated: 2006-09-11 17:27
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China's entertainment industry is facing another sex scandal as a 22-year-old actress claims a director of the China Central Television (CCTV) asked her to sleep with him in return for a role in the TV drama "Painter Village".

Actress records alleged sexual harassment on blog
Xiao Qiong said on her blog that director Yang Yichao hinted that she might become one of the heroins in "Painter Village" if she had sex with him.

Xiao Qiong said on her blog that director Yang Yichao hinted that she might become one of the heroins in "Painter Village" if she had sex with him. The director later took back his offer after his request was turned down, the actress claimed.

Xiao's claim immediately put herself into media spotlight and drew public attention, as hitting rates of the article on her blog rocketed to 400,000 in 24 hours.

Xiao wrote on her blog that she met Yang through an interview for a role in the "Painter Village" at the end of last year. After their first meeting, Yang often sent her text messages, with some of them salacious. The director also told her adult jokes while they sometimes met and went out to eat together, the actress revealed.

On August 22, two days before the shooting started, the director asked Xiao to go to his room, report quoted Xiao as saying.

"He said he is interested in me, and he gazed at me all the time," Xiao said. The director even said, anyone could get the role, she claimed. But, he hinted that the actress must sleep with him in order to get it, according to Xiao.

Xiao refused the director's demand, and lost the chance of being one of the lead actresses in the TV drama.

Yang Yichao, director of CCTV's program Beijing Best and a member of the Beijing Writers' Association, denied Xiao's allegations in a statement, saying Xiao did not get the role because she is not good-looking enough.

The director said he was determined to sue the actress over sex "libel". Yang also demanded that he receive a public apology from Xiao Qiong, and that the libelous remarks by Xiao Qiong should stop immediately.

Yang argued that he never made any promises to Xiao. He said he only met Xiao for six times, all in public places. Yang suggested that Xiao was using the scandal to draw public attention and gain fame.

"I am determined to sue her. She will pay a price for lying," Yang claimed.

Responding Yang's determination on legal actions, Xiao said: "Let him sue me! I have sufficient evidence. I will face up to his lawsuit."

Many netizens expresssed support and admiration for Xiao's bravery in comments on her blog, saying she was courageous to reveal the hidden rules of the entertainment circle. While some others suspected that she was just trying to revenge for not getting the role. Still some thought she just wanted to make herself famous by faking the scandal.

In recent years, gossips have abounded about "sex for roles" and "hidden rules" within the entertainment industry. Cases involving CCTV host Zhao Zhongxiang, director Huang Jianzhong, actress Fan Bingbing, have all caused quite some stirs among the public.