Chinese actress Zheng Shuang accused of evading $17M debt

By Nhu Anh   February 2, 2024 | 05:06 am PT
Filmmaker Zhang Fan alleges that actress Zheng Shuang has deliberately been avoiding him, failing to pay a contract cancellation fee for his film “Secret Keepers,” in which she starred.
Chinese actress Zheng Shuang. Photo from Zhengs Instagram

Chinese actress Zheng Shuang. Photo from Zheng's Instagram

In an interview with Renwu Magazine published on Friday, Zhang detailed his disputes with Zheng. He noted that he funded "Secret Keepers" through loans and signed Zheng, who agreed to follow laws throughout the production and release phases. Zheng breached this contract by getting involved in a surrogacy scandal and tax evasion by 2021, hindering the film’s release.

Zhang subsequently demanded repayment of Zheng’s salary plus 20% in damages, resulting in a 120-million-yuan (US$16.9 million) compensation. Despite a 2022 court order for Zheng to compensate, she has not paid, Zhang said.

Facing financial strain from his investment and subsequent debt, Zhang attempted to find the actress but with no success. He said that despite locating Zheng’s address in the U.S. once last year, she was gone by his arrival. When mutual contacts urged Zheng to settle her debts, she dismissed them.

Zhang added that he believed Zheng’s avoidance was intentional, citing her U.S. court-submitted financial statements showing assets over $31.8 million.

According to The Paper, Zhang is not the only one to whom Zheng owes money. In 2021, a Chinese court ordered Zheng to pay 90.5 million yuan to the production of "Jade Lovers," another project in which she starred that was affected by her actions, but she has not complied.

Before her controversies, Zheng, 33, was a leading actress in China.

Her surrogacy issue came to light in 2021 when her 34-year-old ex-boyfriend Zhang Heng disclosed their surrogacy arrangements in the U.S. and accused her of wanting to abandon the child after their relationship turned sour.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, surrogacy is prohibited in China. However, some Chinese individuals exploit legal loopholes to pursue surrogacy abroad. Reports of surrogacy often elicit criticism within China.

Besides the surrogacy controversy, Zheng was also fined 299 million yuan for tax evasion in the same year.

Reports indicate she has since moved to the U.S.

go to top