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August 4, 2011

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Comedian's wife denies her wealth is ill-gotten

HU Jie, the wife of Zhou Libo, famous Shanghai stand-up comedian, denied her wealth was related to ill-gotten assets obtained by her ex-husband, who surrendered himself to police for alleged corruption and embezzlement.

The case has attracted attention in Shanghai because of Zhou, once considered a rescuer and representative of Shanghai culture and recently described to be a gold digger after marrying the wealthy Hu last December.

Hu, a native of Wenzhou City in Zhejiang Province, divorced Yang Shenghua, former driver and henchman of corrupt Wenzhou government official Yang Xiuzhu, in May 2010.

The corruption case is still under investigation. The Wenzhou government said in 2004 that the amount of money involved was about 253 million yuan (US$ 39.3 million).

It was said the official Yang asked Yang Shenghua to handle her properties in Shanghai and Hangzhou before fleeing abroad with her daughter and son-in-law.

Yang Shenghua was also once appointed general manager of two state-owned enterprises using his connections with Yang Xiuzhu. Yang Shenghua allegedly turned SOEs private by forging documents, falsely claiming registered capital and other illegal means, according to the Qianjiang Evening News.

Hu's profile rose

His ex-wife, Hu, stepped into the spotlight after marrying comedian Zhou. Zhou's ex-wife made a stir in 2009, before divorcing Zhou, saying that the comedian was dating a rich businesswoman from Wenzhou as she suffered a serious illness in the hospital.

Hu owned a leading stainless steel factory in Wenzhou at the time, while married to Yang Shenghua. Hu has given up her career.

Rumors said Hu's wealth was related to the ill-gotten assets obtained by her ex-husband, but Hu denied the allegations, the report said.

Yang Xiuzhu, the corrupt official, was former director of the urban planning authority, deputy director of the construction authority and vice mayor of Wenzhou. She fled overseas in April 2004 and was arrested in the Netherlands in May 2005.

Yang Shenghua also escaped overseas but returned and gave himself up to police at the end of June. He was charged on July 21 with corruption and embezzlement.


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