China's highest-earning actress Fan Bingbing, 37, ordered to pay the fine for evading taxes, reports say. She disappeared from the public eye in June after allegations that she had evaded taxes on a lucrative movie shoot.
China's highest-earning actress Fan Bingbing, who disappeared from public view three months ago, has been released from secret detention and ordered to pay $130 million for tax evasion, according to a media report on Wednesday.
Fan, 37, disappeared from the public eye in June and her once active social media presence went silent after allegations emerged that she had evaded taxes on a lucrative movie shoot.
Fan, whose mysterious disappearance made world headlines, received an administrative penalty for a first offence and will not be pursued for criminal liability if she pays back the taxes and fines within a defined time period.
Reports said her companies had underpaid a total of more than $37 million of taxes, including close to $29 million of tax evasion.
She was reportedly kept at a "holiday resort" used by investigators in a suburb in the coastal province of Jiangsu, reports said.
She had since been transferred to authorities in Beijing for further investigation, it said.
Social media apology
Fan posted an apology on her official account on the social media site Weibo.com saying that she accepts the tax authorities' decision and would "try my best to overcome all difficulties and raise funds to pay back taxes and fines."
"I am unworthy of the trust of the society and let down the fans who love me," she wrote in her first update of her Weibo.com microblog since June 2.
A man surnamed Liang, who identified himself as a staff member of Fan's studio when reached by phone, refused to comment on the announcement or on Fan's location.
Her disappearance coincided with a crackdown by the authorities on high salaries for actors that can eat up much of the cost of a production. In June, regulators capped star pay at 40 percent of a TV show's entire production budget and 70 percent of the total paid to all the actors in a film.
Fan evaded $1.06 million in taxes by using a secret contract worth $2.91 million that she signed for starring in the film "Air Strike," the report said.
She had instead paid taxes on a contract for only $1.46 million, Xinhua said. This referred to a reportedly common entertainment industry practice — an actor having a public contract stating an official salary and a private contract detailing actual, much higher pay.
A talk show host, Cui Yongyuan had said in May that Fan had such an arrangement, which allegedly helps facilitate tax evasion, and revealed details that sparked a public outcry. Cui later apologised.