Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing took to social media for the first time in months Wednesday to apologise to fans and the Communist Party for tax evasion, shortly after news broke that authorities had ordered her to pay nearly $130 million in back taxes and fines.
The 36-year-old actress, model and producer had been a ubiquitous household name in China for years and tasted Hollywood success with a role in the 2014 blockbuster 'X-Men: Days of Future Past.'
But she disappeared from the public eye and her once active social media presence went silent in May after allegations emerged that she had evaded taxes on a lucrative movie shoot, charges her studio called 'slander'.
Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has disappeared from public view after the scandal over her tax evasion
The 36-year-old actress was previously the highest paid Chinese actress following her role in X-Men (pictured)
Her sudden absence from screens and advertisements across the country spurred rumors that she had been snatched by officials at a time when Beijing is cracking down on what it views as excesses in the film and television industry.
Chinese tax authorities have now laid at least part of the mystery to rest, ruling that both Fan and companies controlled by her failed to pay tens of millions of dollars in taxes, the official Xinhua news service reported on Wednesday.
The report said Fan would have to pay a total of 883 million yuan ($129 million) in owed taxes, fines and penalties, adding that she would avoid criminal prosecution as long as she met a repayment deadline.
At least one other person implicated in the probe has been detained for further investigation related to concealing and 'deliberately destroying' accounting documents, Xinhua added without detailing that person's identity.
Fan took to China's