Image: Getty

On October 3rd, he asked me what day it was. I said, “It’s October 3rd, the day we found out that Fan Bingbing owes $130 million in back taxes.”

After months of social media silence and a curious disappearance from public life, Fan Bingbing, issued an unctuous apology for having amassed $130 million in back taxes and fees. Bingbing, 37, is charged with misreporting her income from the film Unbreakable Spirit, which will be released in American theaters under the title Air Strike, later this month. Bingbing, who is the highest paid actress in China, can avoid imprisonment if she pays the amount in full by year’s end.

Striking is the apology-statement’s tone: self-flagellating and ingratiating, with a heady patriotic flair. “Today I feel afraid and deep discomfort about my mistakes... I have betrayed the trust of society,” she wrote on Weibo. “For a long time, I did not uphold the responsibility of safeguarding the interests of my country and our society against my personal interests... I completely accept the penalties given by the taxation authorities after their thorough investigation.”

The groveling to her “society” and its governing bodies, the positing of the “self” as oppositional to the “country.” If I were a war criminal or apparatchik charged with writing a convincing letter from a POW, this is what I would write. It gets incredibly Orwellian at the close, with Bingbing vowing “After this incident, i will uphold the law and respect orders, as well as taking my responsibility.” When Bingbing first went AWOL, it was suspected that she was imprisoned or forcibly put on house arrest; the apology does nothing to quell those fears and Bingbing has still not been seen in public. With her name scrubbed from the promotional materials for Air Strike, it’s possible that she won’t make the stateside press rounds, either.

[Variety]

Bling Ring: Part Deaux

Image: Getty

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I imagine it to be incredibly simple to rob the rich. The hard part is access, but if you think about the frequency with which the elite are relieved of their goods, it’s easy to become enticed with your own robber fantasies. Remember when 50 Cent said that his house was so large, and so infrequently inhabited, that there was another man living in it and 50 hadn’t even noticed? Rihanna, Yasiel Puig, and Christina Milian have all been victimized by the same teen burglars, who were arrested last week in Los Angeles. Rihanna and Puig live in the same LA area which houses Wiz Khalifa, Alanis Morissette, and Nick Young, who were also robbed, presumably by the same person. In March, $170,000 in jewels was stolen from Robert Wood’s home. Why does anyone have $170,000 in jewelry? For now, I’m counting this as a socialist victory.

[People]


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Update: A previous version of this post ran without the correct image. Jezebel (and Getty) regrets the error.