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Clearing her name

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2010-03-16 11:01
Clearing her name
A video monitor shows Zhang Ziyi giving an interview, in which she gives
her side of the story regarding donations to earthquake relief.
Provided to China Daily

Zhang Ziyi has been criticized for not replying to accusations of charity fraud leveled against her, but in an exclusive interview with Raymond Zhou she tells all

Zhang Ziyi's troubles started with a splash - literally. In late December, last year, a bunch of people stormed into Beijing's Park Hyatt and splashed black paint over a window advertisement with Zhang's image on it.

Shortly afterwards, a woman named Zhao Xinyu told the press she was behind the incident and the reason was Zhang, a former confidante of hers, had received jewelry and gifts worth 200 million yuan ($29.3 million) from a businessman who was married and thought Zhang was serious about him.

Zhao said she was the one who introduced them.

That story could not be confirmed because Zhang refused to respond.

Then, someone found discrepancies in Zhang's charity account. It soon ballooned into a full-scale scandal as new allegations popped up almost on a weekly basis.

Millions of netizens participated in the digging for dirt. After an initial attempt to explain through her representative, Zhang remained silent while the public reaction turned negative.

China Daily initiated contact with Zhang's people before the Spring Festival. Her schedule was so tight it was hard to fit in an interview of this nature, which might take several hours - and much longer to prepare.

After long deliberation, the interview took place in the wee hours of last Friday, in a small city in Liaoning province, not far from the location where she is shooting her current film.

Zhang appeared gaunt and exhausted. She had been working several long nights in a row, doing action scenes. She was solemn most of the time, quite unlike the jovial persona she projects for her public appearances.

She frequently consulted a legal document prepared by a Los Angeles law office, Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro, llp, that contains details of her donations.

The document was released at the same time as the interview, available in both English and Chinese, as well as the entire interview, in both video and transcript form in Chinese, on China Daily's Chinese website.

It was predetermined the interview would focus on the donation controversy. She gingerly stepped around questions about her fallout with Zhao.

Clearing her name
Zhang Ziyi discusses "Donations Gate" at a hotel in a small city in Liaoning, near where she is shooting her new movie. Provided to China Daily

Clearing her name

Clearing her name

Clearing her name

Clearing her name

Clearing her name

Clearing her name

Clearing her name

Clearing her name

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