When rape allegations against Kris Wu first surfaced in 2021, the Canadian-Chinese pop icon wrote on his weibo: “If there is behaviour of this kind, rest assured everyone, I will walk into the prison myself.”
Wu didn’t quite walk into prison as he’d promised. But he will be spending the next 13 years of his life there (assuming he serves his full sentence).
Last week, a court in Beijing’s Chaoyang district published a statement saying that it had found Wu guilty of raping three intoxicated women at his home in 2020.
According to the statement, in addition to the rapes he also engaged in “lewd activities” at his home in 2018, involving two other women who were also under the influence of alcohol.
Besides receiving a lengthy jail term, the 32 year-old will be deported from China after serving his sentence.
The hearing for Wu’s case was held behind closed doors, with the media denied access, although it was reported that officials from the Canadian embassy in China were present during the trial.
Zhu Yilin, a lawyer based in Shanghai, told Shanghai Observer that rape convictions are typically punishable by three to 10 years in prison. Wu’s sentence seems especially severe, although Zhu reckons that it is because as a public figure Wu had added social responsibility to be a role model for young fans. The severity of the punishment might also be due to the charge that some of the victims were underage at the time the crimes took place.
After news of Wu’s sentence went viral, college student Du Meizhu, his first public accuser, wrote on her social media account that she was grateful that the singer’s celebrity status had not spared him from punishment.
“Because I have been exposed to rain, I also want to hold an umbrella for others,” she posted on her weibo. “I am very grateful to everyone for their support and psychological help in the past two years. Girls help girls,” she wrote.
Wu was also handed a tax bill two hours after his sentence was made public. The local tax authority in Beijing announced on its website that Wu had evaded Rmb95 million in tax payments between 2019 and 2020 by making false declarations and using businesses based in China to hide his personal income.
As punishment, he is now required to pay Rmb600 million to fiscal authorities (to put that in perspective, Fan Bingbing and her related companies were made to pay Rmb883 million for tax evasion back in 2018).
Authorities claimed Wu used his Canadian nationality to ask Chinese companies or their overseas branches to transfer his earnings to foreign-registered firms, and depict his earnings from China as income from overseas as a means to evade taxes, the Global Times reported.
Most netizens were supportive of the verdict. “Justice may be late but it is never absent,” one applauded. “The biggest highlight is the tax evasion fine. Don’t let him take the money with him. When he leaves prison, he should have nothing,” another urged.
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