As more details of pop idol Kris Wu’s alleged predatory sexual behavior have emerged in recent days, the Chinese internet is furious, and an increasing number of brands are announcing their decisions to cut ties with the Chinese-Canadian star — including one of the top Chinese video streaming platforms, Tencent Video.
It has been 10 days since 19-year-old woman Du Meizhu first accused Kris Wu of predatory sexual behavior, including luring underage girls. Yesterday afternoon, one of China’s major news outlets — NetEase — published an exclusive interview with Du.
Kris Wu Accused of Predatory Behavior
In the interview, Du released more details about her alleged nonconsensual encounter with the idol. She stated that Kris Wu and his friends plied her with alcohol when she was a 17-year-old and that she “woke up the next day next to Wu” after passing out drunk. Du also recounted the tactics the pop idol used to target and lure girls.
The scathing interview may have been responsible for pushing brands to sever their ties with Kris Wu.
The disturbing behavior outlined by Du during the interview, however, is just the tip of the iceberg: Du disclosed that seven more women had shared their own similar experiences with her.
On Monday, two other women shared screenshots of their online exchanges with Kris Wu, including Zhang Dansan, a former member of the girl band SNH48. The screenshot shared by Zhang shows messages from Wu, in which he asks her if she is still a virgin.
Kris Wu’s Girlfriend? Artist Sues Over Scandal with 19-Year-Old Chen Ziyi
In the days leading up to the interview’s release, Du posted screenshots and videos of bank transaction records that showed Wu’s agency was trying to eliminate the crisis by transferring funds to multiple accounts in Du’s name, as well as a draft settlement agreement.
At around 8 AM this morning, Kris Wu broke his silence on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo and denied the allegations, writing: “I didn’t respond before because I didn’t want to interfere with the progress of the judicial process, but I didn’t expect my silence to condone the rumor spreader and become even worse. I cannot stand it anymore.”
“If I did all these things, no one has to worry — I will go to prison myself. I take legal responsibility for my words above,” Wu added.
Screenshot of Kris Wu’s response on Weibo
Du first caught the public eye in early June, when one of her friends accused Wu of cheating on her. The public accusation was made after video footage was leaked of Wu and a 19-year-old girl, Chen Ziyi, watching a movie together.
The rapid developments of this case have become a countrywide talking point and have infuriated some netizens.
Hashtags such as #NetEase interviewed Du Meizhu# and #Du MeiZhu [asks Kris Wu] to come out like a man# have dominated the trending topics list on Weibo, with users showing support for Du.
The hashtag #Du MeiZhu [asks Kris Wu] to come out like a man#, which refers to Du’s remarks following the interview, has garnered over 1.3 billion views on Weibo.
“Such an unyielding woman!!” read the most upvoted comment under one of Du’s posts, which 936,000 netizens had liked as of 4 PM on July 19.
“This is so infuriating! [This behavior] must be severely punished,” wrote another user under a related post.
Meanwhile, Kris Wu’s response has met with backlash.
“Fuck off,” read the top comment under Wu’s latest post.
“Get out of China,” wrote another user, presumably referencing Wu’s Canadian citizenship.
The heated online discussions are going on amid a flurry of corporate partners scrapping their collaborations with Wu. To date, brands including skincare line Kans, washing products company Liby, Tencent Video and Mr. Kon Ice Tea have announced that they are parting ways with Wu.
Other brands, such as Lancôme, hid posts mentioning Wu on Weibo.
In what could be considered a sign of how authorities view the scandal, China’s main State-backed television channel CCTV deleted a post from May promoting Wu’s new song.
As online chatter focuses on Wu’s alleged predatory behavior, Chinese media outlets across the nation have begun to focus on the case and the potential legal consequences. More brands are also expected to reassess their cooperation with Wu and potentially scrap existing partnership agreements.
However, it remains to be seen what legal repercussions Wu may face. Regardless, the accusations and the attention they have garnered are a massive blow to Kris Wu’s career in China.
Cover Image: Depositphotos
This story was updated at 11:05 PM to include information on text messages between Kris Wu and Zhang Dansan.
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