After months of speculation regarding her sudden disappearance, Fan Bingbing has returned. The Chinese actress — who is among the country's highest-paid entertainers — disappeared sometime in July of this year. Though she hasn't reappeared in person, Fan did issue an apology on her Weibo account, claiming that she felt ashamed for what she'd done.
"I feel ashamed and guilty for what I did, and here, I offer my sincere apology to everyone," Fan wrote, per Variety, who was the first to publish the apology. Fan goes on to explain that she did, indeed, evade taxes, as was suggested during her disappearance.
"I feel ashamed that I committed tax evasion in Unbreakable Spirit and other projects by taking advantage of 'split contracts,'" Fan admits. "Throughout these days of my cooperation with the taxation authorities’ investigation of my accounts as well as my company’s, I have realized that, as a public figure, I should’ve observed the law, setting a good example for society and the industry."
Fan disappeared shortly after Chinese TV news reporter Cui Yongyuan accused her of engaging with "split contracting," a process that involves signing two contracts for a film — one with a smaller salary for tax purposes, and one with a much larger, tax-free salary. Cui released two supposed contracts for the film Cell Phone 2. In the contracts Cui released, Fan's "official" salary was around $1.56 million, while her actual salary was at $10 million.
Fan's return is a relief, given that the speculation around her disappearance was only getting louder and more frantic. Fan is one of China's most famous actresses, and she is soon to appear in the American spy thriller 355 alongside Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o, Penelope Cruz, and Marion Cotillard.