Chinese megastar Fan Bingbing turned up at a red carpet event after mysteriously disappearing from the spotlight for almost a year amid a major tax evasion scandal.
The actress reappeared in public for the first time in months when she walked the red carpet at a star-studded event held by a popular Chinese online video platform in Beijing on Monday. Fan, who was fined over $100 million for dodging taxes last year, eventually posted pictures of herself at the party on Instagram, which is officially blocked in the Asian country.
In the photos, the 37-year-old is seen putting on her best poses as she rocked a black and pink Alexander McQueen pantsuit, as well as a Louis Vuitton bag, per a report by The Daily Mail. Her fans from all around the world rushed to the comment section, applauding her return to the spotlight, as well as to social media.
“I missed you” and “The queen is back” were only some of the supportive messages she received, but many also took the opportunity to criticize her for escaping a bigger punishment by tax officials in China.
And while she took to the photo-sharing platform to update her followers, she didn’t do the same on China’s Twitter-like platform. The disgraced celebrity, who is followed by over 62 million people on Weibo, did not post anything about the party on her account. She instead decided to use her Weibo page, as well as YouTube, to promote her new beauty brand, Fan Beauty Secret.
Fan, who is known in her country for having perfectly glowing and wrinkle-free skin, introduced a new product on her brand’s official Weibo account described as a “sea grape deep hydrating water gel mask.” In a promo clip, she tells fans that they should try out the new product if they wish to “have perfect and beautiful skin without makeup” like her. However, not everyone was supportive of her new endeavor, with many online users deciding against buying products from someone who has such a “stain” in their past.
Fan is also meant to star in an all-female James Bond-style spy movie titled 355 later this year. She was cast before the tax evasion scandal forced her to take a break from her acting career and will act alongside Hollywood powerhouses Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, and Lupita Nyong’o.
Fan vanished from the public eye last July after it emerged that she allegedly evaded taxes and was last seen in Shanghai during a charity event. Then toward the end of the year, Chinese authorities claimed she had to pay 883 million yuan (about $130 million) in back taxes, fines, and penalties to avoid being sent to jail. As this amount included the fine she had to pay, it was never revealed the actual amount of taxes the actress allegedly dodged.