Chinese actor Zheng Shuang breaks silence to apologise over surrogacy scandal

·3-min read
File image: Zheng Shuang at the 31st Hong Kong Film Awards in 2012 (AFP via Getty Images)
File image: Zheng Shuang at the 31st Hong Kong Film Awards in 2012 (AFP via Getty Images)

Chinese actor Zheng Shuang has broken her six-month social media silence following a surrogacy scandal where her ex-boyfriend accused her of abandoning their two US-born surrogate children.

The controversy erupted in January 2021 after the 29-year-old actor’s former partner Zhang Heng took to social media to claim he had been stranded in the US for more than a year, left alone to “take care of and protect two young lives”.

The couple reportedly split while the two surrogate mothers they had hired were pregnant.

The Meteor Shower star lost custody of her children in May after a Denver judge granted solo parenting authority to Zhang.

In January, the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China denounced the actor for turning to surrogacy.

“Surrogacy is banned in China as it uses women’s uteruses as a tool and sells life as a commercial product,” said the commission in a post on Weibo at the time, reported South China Morning Post. “As a Chinese citizen, the act of travelling to the US on a legal loophole is not abiding the law.”

Though surrogacy is illegal in the country, the law does not say anything about going abroad to have surrogate children.

On Monday (19 July), Shuang posted an apology on her Weibo account.

“I sincerely apologise for the surrogacy incident, am willing to accept criticisms from all sides and consciously reflect on my mistakes,” she wrote in Chinese.

She also asked Zhang to stop “harassing” her or her family. In response, he accused her of lying over the surrogacy scandal and claimed her fans have been harassing him and his family.

In the same statement, she denied earning $33.8m for acting in the Chinese television series A Chinese Ghost Story or signing a controversial “yin-yang contract” – in which one contract is drawn up for the tax man and another for real – to evade her taxes.

“I am willing to make up the shortfall if there are errors caused by my negligence or unprofessionalism,” she wrote. “I hope the tax authorities can accord me due process and not be influenced by the surrogacy incident.”

The actor also shared that her family’s bank accounts have been blocked and that she has no way of earning any income.

“If it makes you feel any better, I can tell you that I drink tap water every day to survive, I own a total of five T-shirts and two pairs of jeans, and I have never ordered delivery,” she wrote in a (now-deleted) post. “I even need to be frugal when buying sanitary napkins, and toilet paper has to be used sparingly.”

After the scandal took place earlier this year, Italian luxury fashion house Prada, along with many other brands, severed ties with the popular actor.

A feature on Shuang in the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar was also said to have been removed from their official Weibo account, the Global Times reported.

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