Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu has been formally arrested on suspicion of rape, Beijing prosecutors announced Monday.
The Chaoyang District People's Procuratorate in Beijing issued a one-sentence official statement Monday via Chinese social media platform Weibo, announcing that Kris Wu's arrest had been formally approved after reviewing an investigation in accordance with the law. No further details have since been released.
The pop star, whose Chinese name is Wu Yifan, was previously detained on July 31 by local Chinese police, stating that the 30-year-old's detainment was in response to investigations of an alleged rape and online reports that Wu repeatedly tricked young women into having sex.
One alleged victim, 18-year-old college student Du Meizhu, had publicly accused Wu of date raping her after getting her drunk, which Wu had fiercely denied. If there really had been this kind of behavior, everyone please rest assured, I would go to prison myself! Wu said via Weibo on July 19. However, Du said it was not only her and that another seven alleged victims with similar experiences had also contacted her and shared details, with two of them being underage.
Wang Dandan, a local prosecutor in Changchun, Jilin province, who is not involved in the case, told China.org.cn that according to her estimates, Wu's case will be sent by police to the procuratorate for review and pressing charges within two months, and the prosecution will go to court within six months. The approval of his formal arrest means the evidence against Wu is solid and sufficient, and he won't be able to get release on bail, she explained.
Wu's Canadian citizenship will not help him get any special treatment. However, he could be deported after serving his sentence in China if found guilty, she added.
Alia Zhao, a lawyer from Beijing Lvzhong Law Firm, said according to current information revealed, though Wu is still a suspect and has not been tried, the prospect of being found not guilty seems unlikely. A normal rapist will get at least three years. But considering he may have committed many other serious criminal activities, like having sex with underage girls and drugging them, he would receive at least 10 years.
Wu was a juggernaut in China's showbiz circles, with more than 51 million followers on Weibo alone. He got his start as a member of K-pop group EXO, before leaving in 2014 to focus on a solo career in China. He has since released several hit songs, and starred in Chinese films such as Mr. Six as well as Hollywood blockbusters like XXX: Return of Xander Cage. He also worked as a judge and mentor on some of the country's top music variety shows, and had partnerships with major international fashion brands such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Bulgari.
However, with his films, music and variety shows getting shelved upon news of his arrest, his social media accounts getting banned, all the brands ending endorsement deals with him, and various Chinese cultural and entertainment associations calling for a boycott of him, Wu's entertainment career is doomed. In addition, there could be more civil cases awaiting him by alleged victims, as well as companies who had invested in projects relating to him, seeking astronomical damages.
Wu may also face charges outside China. A lawyer in South California recently confirmed another alleged victim has come forward accusing Wu of raping her by using pills to drug her in Los Angeles several years ago when she was an underage student.