The story appears on

Page A3

August 13, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Society

Trial seeks to preserve famed director's name

A SHANGHAI district court yesterday heard a lawsuit aimed at protecting the reputation of the late Chinese film director Xie Jin, who twin-brother bloggers claimed died while having sex with a prostitute.

The plaintiff, Xie's wife, Xu Dawen, introduced 49 pieces of evidence at the hearing, including blog items and media interviews, to back her claim that Xie had been defamed.

"The defendants aimed to promote themselves by bespattering celebrities," Xu's attorney, Fu Minrong, said at the hearing.

Xu is seeking 500,000 yuan (US$73,206) in compensation.

Confusing claims

The defendants, celebrity-scandal blogger Song Zude and brother Liu Xinda, didn't attend the hearing. Even though Song previously told the media he had strong support for his claims about Xie, no evidence was introduced at the hearing.

The defendants, in fact, denied they made the claims; their attorney said their blogs had been hacked and it could not be proved that the brothers had written the offending items.

The hearing, at the Jing'an District People's Court, attracted an audience of about 200, including reporters. Interest was high because Xie, who lived in the city, was one of China's most respected film directors, winning national film awards.

On the morning of October 18, 2008, the 85-year-old director was found dead from a heart attack in a hotel in his hometown, Shangyu City in Zhejiang Province.

Controversy ensued when Song posted an article on his entertainment blog saying that a witness heard a young woman's voice and Xie "wheezing" on the morning of his death.

Song wrote that Xie had called a prostitute and died during sex at the Shangyu International Hotel. The alleged witness was Liu, who said he was in the room next to Xie's.

Liu repeated the story in his own blog and claimed he had used his cell phone to record Xie bargaining with a prostitute.

In a later blog, Song also claimed Xie and Liu Xiaoqing, one of China's most successful actresses, had conceived a son during an affair.

The brothers repeated their claims in interviews with the domestic media, including a TV program and six newspapers, according to the plaintiff.

The plaintiff, however, provided the court with hotel surveillance tapes that showed no one entered Xie's room between the time a waitress left about 9pm on October 17 and until he was found dead. Registration records provided by the hotel showed that Liu was not in a room next door.

And in a written statement yesterday, Liu Xiaoqing denied having an affair with Xie and said she retained the right to file a criminal lawsuit for libel. A verdict was not immediately announced.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend