Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu has been detained on suspicion of rape, police in China have confirmed in a statement.
The former member of K-pop group EXO has been accused of date rape and preying on underage girls by his rumoured 19-year-old ex-girlfriend, Du Meizhu.
The Washington Post reported earlier this month (July 21) that 24 alleged victims had made accusations against Wu, 30, on Chinese social media. He has vehemently denied all allegations.
In a statement posted on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, the Chaoyang District branch of the Beijing police said today (July 31) that Wu had been “criminally detained”. The arrest was made “in response to relevant information reported on the internet”, which included accusations that he had “repeatedly deceived young women into sexual relations”, per the New York Times.
The People’s Daily, the official paper of the Chinese Communist Party, said of Wu’s case: “Having a foreign nationality is not a protective talisman, and no matter how big the name is, there is no immunity.” Wu was born in China but is a Canadian citizen.
The paper added: “Remember: The higher the popularity, the more you must be self-disciplined, the more popular you are, the more you must abide by the law.”
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV and the Communist Youth League of China both issued statements about the allegations against Wu earlier this month. CCTV said the case had “escalated into something larger than celebrity gossip, into a legal case and public event with massive social impact, something that demands a comprehensive investigation and clarifications by relevant departments”.
The Communist Youth League added that they weren’t concerned with celebrity gossip “but about good and evil, beauty and ugliness in society, about fairness and justice in a society with rule of law”.
Variety reported that Wu’s company Beijing Fanshi Culture and Media claimed the singer had only met Du once. It also issued a statement refuting Du’s allegations and said that it had initiated a lawsuit against her. Du’s sister reportedly later addressed the company’s rebuttals, who gave what she said was further evidence of a relationship between the two.
Du alleged that the 30-year-old singer would offer acting and singing opportunities to young women, luring them to play drinking games and spend the night with him. Wu denied Du’s claims on Weibo, saying: “No luring for sex! No drugging to rape! No underage! If there was this behaviour, everyone rest assured I would go to jail willingly. I fully understand the legal weight of my words above.”
Several brands terminated their partnerships with the singer after the allegations first emerged. He was the face of several products and brands, including luxury cars, cosmetics and food brands.