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Chinese Actress Fan Bingbing Free After Detention (Report)

Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing, who has been at the center of a storm over unpaid taxes, is said to be at liberty after a period of government detention.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, citing unnamed sources, reported Thursday that Fan has returned to Beijing after an unspecified period of “residential detention.” The paper said that Fan had been held at a “holiday resort” near Wuxi, in Jiangsu province, that has been previously used to interrogate errant Communist Party officials.

Fan disappeared from public view in June and from social media at the beginning of July after being accused of tax fraud by a fellow celebrity. He used social media to publish copies of two contracts that he alleged were evidence of tax evasion by Fan.

On Wednesday, China’s tax authorities announced that she would have to pay hundreds of millions of yuan in back taxes, fines and other penalties. State news agency Xinhua suggested that Fan and her companies could be liable for a staggering $129 million (RMB 883 million).

Fan herself then re-emerged on social media to make an abject apology. “I feel ashamed and guilty for what I did, and here, I offer my sincere apology to everyone,” she wrote on micro-blogging site Weibo.

Despite the immensity of the sums involved, Fan is expected to be able to avoid criminal prosecution if she pays up promptly.

“I feel ashamed that I committed tax evasion in [upcoming film] ‘Unbreakable Spirit’ and other projects by taking advantage of ‘split contracts.’ Throughout these days of my cooperation with the taxation authorities’ investigation of my accounts as well as my company’s, I have realized that, as a public figure, I should’ve observed the law, setting a good example for society and the industry,” Fan wrote.

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