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February 9, 2010

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Actress Zhang fulfills donation shortfall

CHINESE actress Zhang Ziyi has donated 160,000 yuan (US$23,430) to make up for a shortfall to the 1 million yuan donation she claimed to have made after the May 12, 2008, earthquake in Sichuan Province, her agent Ji Lingling said in a written apology yesterday afternoon.

The statement was a reversal following Ji's insistence on Friday that Zhang did contribute 1 million yuan in cash immediately after the earthquake after claims were made online that the film star didn't give as much as she promised.

Ji said in yesterday's statement that everything was her fault. The agent said both she and Zhang had no idea about the shortfall until she received a receipt from the Chinese Red Cross Foundation for 840,000 yuan.

However, Ji had told on Friday that several senior Red Cross executives had confirmed the 1 million yuan donation.

An online claim was made on January 22 stating that Zhang, who starred in "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" and "Memoirs of a Geisha," had donated 840,000 yuan, not the 1 million yuan she had announced.

The person making the claim said it was based on information from the Chinese Red Cross Foundation.

Earlier media reports also said that about US$2 million in donations given by people overseas had been deposited in Zhang's private bank account in the United States.

Ji said that Zhang had set up a charity foundation in the US for the convenience of contributors overseas, many of them Zhang's friends.

Ji added that only US$500,000 was in the foundation's account.


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