Chinese actress Zheng Shuang unable to pay $12.5M compensation due to asset shortage

By Nhu Anh   April 2, 2024 | 01:21 am PT
A Shanghai court has decreed that actress Zheng Shuang is unable to fulfill a 90.5 million yuan (US$12.5 million) compensation for breaching her contract with a film company due to insufficient assets.
Chinese actress Zheng Shuang. Photo from Zhengs Instagram

Chinese actress Zheng Shuang. Photo from Zheng's Instagram

East Money reported that the Shanghai Songjiang District People’s Court disclosed Monday that Zheng finds herself devoid of assets sufficient for covering the compensation owed to the claimant, a film and television investment entity situated in Haining in the Zhejiang province of East China.

The total compensation of 90.5 million yuan comprises 30.5 million yuan that Zheng received for her role in the project and an additional 60 million yuan in damages.

The dispute between Zheng and the company, originating three years ago, involved the film company’s allegations against the actress for legal infractions, including tax evasion and engaging in surrogacy, which led to the derailment of its production, the "Jade Lover" TV series. In this project, Zheng was cast in the leading role.

The judicial findings were that the actress’ infractions resulted in a prohibition from broadcast appearances, consequently hindering the TV series from being aired.

Consequently, in 2023, Zheng was mandated by a court to compensate the plaintiff.

Prior to the emergence of her legal issues, Zheng, 33, enjoyed prominence as a leading actress within China.

The controversy surrounding her surrogacy was brought to public attention in 2021 by Zhang Heng, her 34-year-old former partner, who revealed their surrogacy arrangements in the U.S. and accused her of intending to forsake the child amidst their deteriorating relationship.

The South China Morning Post has reported that while surrogacy is banned in China, certain Chinese nationals navigate through legal gray areas to engage in surrogacy overseas, a practice that frequently draws criticism domestically.

In addition to the surrogacy scandal, Zheng faced a 299 million yuan penalty for evading taxes that same year.

Subsequent reports have indicated that she has relocated to the U.S. and is listed among "dishonest citizens," subjected to constraints on her personal expenditures, which include prohibitions against booking flights, high-speed train tickets, and accommodations in five-star hotels.

The actress expressed in February that her financial resources were depleted and that she was subsisting on her parents’ retirement funds. She voiced her aspiration to earn an income and settle her debts in compliance with the court’s directive.

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