Kris Wu: How sexual assault allegations against former EXO star rocked the K-pop world
Trigger warning: graphic content
Chinese-Canadian artist Kris Wu has been surrounded by controversies previously. During his time in the K-pop industry, with the group EXO, he was involved in a lawsuit with SM Entertainment. While the issue there was with his contract as he wanted to leave, he has landed himself in hot water with a much serious matter now. Since the beginning of July, a rumored ex has been claiming that he allegedly sexually abused 30 girls.
The girl claimed that the C-pop idol had raped her and the other girls by getting them drunk. Several of them also happened to be underaged. After she posted what looked like tangible proof, netizens started believing her and asked the authorities to investigate Kris Wu and to acknowledge the matter. Wu personally addressed the allegations on July 19, but it hasn’t cleared anything up. But who is the girl who started it all?
Du Meizhu: The rumored ex
Du Meizhu is a 19-year-old girl studying at the Communication University of China. She also happens to have an online shop and live streams for her followers. But she aspires to be an actress which is what drew her to Kris Wu in the first place. She first came forward when she thought Wu was allegedly cheating on her and was subsequently diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
Timeline: The event that started it all
A month ago, on June 3, a CCTV footage showed Kris Wu renting out a movie theater for his date with a girl who many claimed was Chen Ziyi. The female influencer too happened to be 19 years old. Wu’s legal team stated that they would be taking legal action for violation of his privacy. But cnetizens continued to talk about it as they slammed the 30-year-old singer for reportedly dating such a young girl.
The first post
Almost a month later, on July 8, Du Meizhu posted a long message with screenshots which she claimed were evidence. She said that in June itself when she saw cnetizens turning their back on Wu due to the movie date incident, she was emboldened to come out and talk about him. However, she was cyberbullied and received death threats from online trolls. It affected her mental health to the point that she wanted to take her own life. However, she has come back once again with enough alleged proof that she claims will be admissible in court.
She said that it seemed like Kris Wu had a type since he allegedly targeted girls born in 2000s and were just old enough to go to college. He supposedly used the same pickup line, that is to cast the girl in his next music video. Through drinking games, he would then get the girl drunk and then sleep with her. By getting in contact with 2 underaged victims, Meizhu stated that Wu allegedly toyed with most of the girls this way.
Meizhu then shared screenshots of her messages supposedly with Kris Wu and his manager. The manager first got in touch with her by stating that they wanted to sign her to their agency. Wu then contacted her and asked her if she had taken her college entrance exam. There was also a screenshot with an unknown person who claimed that Wu and his people would choose their target by lining up the girls’ photographs and then inviting the chosen girl for a drink. After Meizhu updated her WeChat app on which she had reportedly spoken to Wu and his manager, she noticed that their accounts were deleted. She went on to share 3 alleged victims’ chats all corroborating her story.
On the very same day, Kris Wu’s legal team stated that all the messages posted by Meizhu were fabricated and her claims were false. They also added that they would be taking legal action to protect Wu from defamation.
Wu negotiates with Meizhu
Fans and cnetizens didn’t think much about it, as they waited for an update. More than a week later, on July 17, things got worse for Wu. Meizhu released an agreement that she claimed had been sent by Wu’s team. According to it, they would pay her an agreed amount and in return, Meizhu would have to delete all of her so-called proof. After talking to a lawyer friend, she realized that if she signed the agreement it would mean that she would be admitting to guilt and could even get 10 years of jail time. She also posted a recording of a money transfer of 500K CNY.
She sensed a trap when she claimed that Wu told her that to evade tax issues he would transfer 3 million CNY to her. Since her asking price was 2 million CNY, she could simply return 1 million CNY. She later found out that this would give them proof that her account is truly owned by her which would back up the claims in the agreement document and guarantee jail time for her. She also claimed that Wu, in fact, sent her 500K CNY without telling her, as a pressure tactic so that she would have to go ahead with the negotiation. In the same message, she added that another victim had gone through a similar thing where she had an abortion and allegedly received money from Wu. Shortly after, Meizhu believes, the victim ended up going to prison.
A public apology
A day later, Meizhu supposedly sent Wu a message claiming that she and her friends were being harassed by his fans. She added that he reportedly got his fans and professionals to harass her, dig up dirt on her and defame her online. She claimed that she was not scared of him as she had several victims and his own staff who had exposed his misdeeds to her. She also just wanted the whole thing to end and told him to directly sue her since she had enough evidence to fight him in court. She also said that she would send back the money to him if he apologized to all the victims and left China. She added that she wanted him to do all of it publicly and even retire from the Chinese entertainment industry. If he didn’t, she said that she could put him behind bars for 10 years. She then posted a more formal message where she politely requested him to take responsibility and do the right thing.
Meizhu’s interview about the relationship
On July 19 Meizhu went on to have an exclusive interview where she spoke about her experience with him. On the same day, Wu released a public statement. In the interview, Meizhu claims that she was 17 years when she first met him. She reportedly went to his house under the impression that it would be an interview. She was forced to play drinking games and got drunk. When she tried to leave, his manager threatened her and took her phone away. She blacked out and the next day she woke up in his bed. She couldn’t leave because there was another man in the living room. Wu claimed that now they were in a relationship and that he would take care of her.
Since he was busy, Meizhu claimed that he only contacted her when he was in Beijing. When they were together, they only stayed home. And other than his staff and a few other people, he didn’t introduce her to any of his friends. He also never helped her get any work which he and his manager had hinted at in the beginning which led to the whole fiasco. She also claimed that he never took protection because of which a victim got STD and had to get an abortion.
But she added that she stayed with him because she felt that he was sincere with her. She said that he seemed honest and because he is a celebrity she felt special that he had chosen her. But the mental trauma she went through later made her realize that it wasn’t worth it. It was only in March this year that his behavior changed towards her and their alleged relationship fizzled out.
Kris Wu’s studio denied all claims and filed a police report against Meizhu. Wu himself went on Weibo to deny the accusations. He said that he had met Meizhu only once on December 5, 2020 but nothing happened between them. He also found the allegations horrifying and said that if he indeed had done them he himself would go to jail.
Other girls are also coming forward and speaking up on the matter. Actress Lin Xiya who was rumored to have dated Kris Wu in 2014 posted a cryptic message. She said, “Seven years, justice? Bring it on.” Due to the suspicious timing of the post, many believe that the message is for Wu.
Ex-SNH48 idol, Zhang Dansan also released messages which she claims were with Kris Wu. In it, he asks her if she has had a physical relationship before and talked about the importance of virginity and obedience. And on July 20, Wei Yuxin, a film academy student shared screenshots of money transfer allegedly from Wu and chats where he again talked about obedience.
Ex-SNH48 member Zhang Dansan exposes her conversations with #WuYifan, in which he asks her questions like whether she had been in a physical relationship with, and proclaiming that a girl's first time is very important.— 瓜 (@chiguajiejie) July 19, 2021
We wonder if he specifically seeks out virgins.#KrisWu pic.twitter.com/Elh8xrRwop
Several brands that had tied up with Kris Wu have been dropping him. KANS terminated their contract with him after cnetizens started circulating Meizhu’s claims. On the other hand, Louis Vuitton faced netizens' wrath for not taking any action sooner. Lancome and Kiehl hid his face from their promotions while Porsche ended their contract with him. Louis Vuitton finally addressed the situation a day later. While they haven’t terminated their contract with him, they have suspended it stating that they will wait till the investigation is over.
Potential jail sentence
Cnetizens are commenting about Kris Wu under unrelated articles asking the government to take action against him. Many wonder what will happen to him if he does get convicted. If the matter does go to court and Kris Wu is tried, it might be on accounts of rape and bribery among others. If the girl is under 14, even if it is consensual, China considers it rape. Hence death or life imprisonment is only possible if the girl is under 14, if it is gang rape or if it leads to serious injury or death. For rape victims above the age of 14, the standard penalty is between 3 to 10 years of jail time.
As for bribery, if it is corporate or government bribery it can go as high as 10 years. However, for personal bribery as claimed between Meizhu and Wu, if Wu is indeed guilty of paying her off, he could also see up to 5 years in jail.
Since 2013, China’s anti-defamation law has taken a strict turn as many individuals have suffered due to cyberbullying. As for defamation, if Wu is personally involved in smearing Meizhu’s name or directly responsible for those who did harass her online, he could get an additional 3 years in jail.
Silence in the music industry
While there might be more freedom in the West where artists are allowed to speak up on any topic, the Far East does not allow that leniency. In K-pop as well as C-pop, agencies have a strict hold on their artists. From serious topics like 'Black Lives Matter' to Palestine, artists are not allowed to speak up about. In fact, when a fellow celebrity does get in trouble, they’re completely shunned in fear that the general public might turn on the industry too for supporting the alleged offender.
It does not matter if the person in question is innocent or guilty. If their name is cleared, they’re welcomed back to the industry as if nothing has happened. Their past is never addressed and a new career is created. Which is why no C-pop or K-pop celebrity has yet spoken up about Kris Wu.
This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.