Zhang Ziyi, the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star, vehemently denies Chinese media reports she earned $100 million by prostituting herself to a string of powerful Chinese men.
During the period in question Zhang Ziyi was alleged to have slept with disgraced politician Bo Xilai, she was happily in a long-term relationship with Aviv “Vivi” Nevo.
In the photos taken four years ago, Zhang Ziyi, 33, is seen holidaying with her former fiancé in St Barts.
Several reports in China this week, alleged Zhang Ziyi had earned millions by sleeping with wealthy businessmen, including Bo Xilai, who was ousted from China’s powerful politburo amid allegations he and his wife were involved in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood last November.
Zhang Ziyi is seen frolicking with her then-fiancé on a towel, with him fiddling with her bikini bottoms.
At one point, she removes her bikini top to avoid getting unsightly tan-lines.
Vivi Nevo, now 47, is an Israeli-American venture capitalist, who is a major shareholder in Time Warner.
According to reports in China, Zhang Ziyi slept with Bo Xilai at least ten times between 2007 and 2011 in exchange for “huge” monetary gifts. The secret trysts are alleged to have taken place in Beijing and to have netted the actress around $1.5 million each time.
Zhang Ziyi confirmed on Wednesday she had met with lawyers from Hong Kong law firm Haldanes and sent an official notice to Apple Daily following the allegations.
She said in a message of her Weibo page (the Chinese version of Twitter): “I met with my lawyer in Hong Kong in the morning to discuss legal measures and just arrived in Hainan. The truth is bound to come to light. And since I have the support of my fans and the law, this will not be a lonely battle.”
Zhang Ziyi was outraged when Apple Daily picked up on the story, which originated on Boxun.com, a Chinese-language site operated in the United States.
Boxun.com alleged Zhang Ziyi was introduced to Bo Xilai through a billionaire friend, Xu Ming, who is said to be worth $700 million but is reportedly under investigation by the Beijing government over alleged corruption.
Xu Ming, 41, has reportedly claimed to authorities that he paid Zhang Ziyi $1 million to have sex with him for the first time in 2007 and that he later negotiated a deal for a similar liaison with Bo Xilai.
Following the reports, her publicist sent a lengthy statement to English-language newspaper TodayOnline reading: “We read this outrageous report in the Apple Daily. It sent stone-cold chills down our spines and has left us with a feeling of deep sadness. Friends have advised us to release a short statement and not take this seriously.
“The more you argue, the more you will stir up. It would be better to step aside until people lose interest and the lies disappear. The innocent will always be innocent.
“We just want to help her get rid of this disturbance and seek justice. Then she will be able to shoot her films in peace and quiet and present you, her fans, with more and better films in return.”
Zhang Ziyi is currently filming a new movie in southern China so missed her latest film première Dangerous Liaisons at the Cannes Film Festival.