One of China’s most celebrated film directors is facing a £100 million fine after allegedly violating the country’s controversial one-child policy by fathering seven children.
Zhang Yimou, who directed hit movies House of Flying Daggers and Hero as well as the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2008 Beijing Olympics,has admitted having two sons and a daughter with his current wife and a daughter with his ex wife.
But rumours have been circulating for several months that he has had three more children other women.
A lawsuit was sent to the Intermediate People’s Court in Wuxi on Thursday, the hometown of Zhang’s wife, half in compensation for public resources, and half in punitive damages.
Guo Chengxi, one of the lawyers behind the action, confirmed reports that it demands a total of one billion yuan ($100million) adding they decided to take action against Zhang because he ‘represents a typical case’ of an elite trying to skirt the law.
She said: ‘Right now, in China, this phenomenon of wealthy people having more than one child is very serious,’
Jia Fangyi, the other lawyer, was quoted in the government-run China Daily as saying the actions of wealthy people such as Zhang were ‘unfair to the poor and those who strictly follow the national policy’.