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Zhang Yimou Secretly Had 7 Children With 4 Women?

By on May 8, 2013

Zhang Yimou Secretly Had 7 Children With 4 Women? thumbnail

Acclaimed film director, Zhang Yimou (张艺谋), has been stirring up controversy with the recent exposure that the 61-year-old is the father of seven children with four women. Six of the children were born out of wedlock. In direct violation of China’s one-child policy act, it is estimated that Zhang owes the mainland government 160 million RMB in fines.

Zhang had a well-publicized affair with his muse, Gong Li  (巩俐), who was featured in six of his films from 1988’s Red Sorghum <紅高粱> to 1995’s Shanghai Triad <摇啊摇,摇到外婆桥>. Aside from Gong Li, Zhang’s entanglements with other women and their children out of wedlock have been exposed due to his second marriage.

Recent reports claimed that Zhang had registered marriage to Chinese actress Chen Ting (陈婷), 32, last year though there is a 30-year age gap between the two. This is Zhang’s second marriage after his divorce with Xiao Hua (肖华), with whom he had a daughter, Zhang Mo (张末).

The news of Zhang’s remarriage was brought to light after he fell out with producer Zhang Weiping (张伟平) while shooting for The Flowers of War (金陵十三钗) last year.

Chen Ting and Zhang Yimou have two sons and a daughter before their official marraige. Based on their children’s ages of 13, 9 and 7, Chen Ting would have given birth to their eldest son when she was 19 years old.  It was also believed that for every son born, Zhang rewarded Chen Ting with 10 million RMB.

According to a social network website, it was reported that Zhang also had 3 children with 2 other women. This led to speculation that Zhang has 7 children with 4 different women altogether.

~ 2 sons and 1 daughter with Chen Ting

~ 1 daughter with ex-wife, Xiao Hua

~ 2 daughters with an anonymous woman

~ 1 son with an anonymous woman

A legal adviser said that Zhang has violated China’s one-child policy and the penalty fine is twice his annual income, which is estimated at 80 million RMB.  If the rumors turn out to be true, Zhang may be liable for a fine of 160 million RMB.

An acquaintance of Chen Ting told the social network that “a few years ago, Chen Ting told me that Zhang had two daughters with one woman and one son with another woman. She felt so proud because she has sons and a daughter with Zhang and that she has won.”

Although Zhang Yimou was contacted for clarification, he unable to be reached for comment on his scandalous family situation.

Source: Apple Daily

This article is written by Jennifer for JayneStars.com.

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  • Readers' Comments (36)

    1. Funn Lim says:

      Wow. Who would have thought eh? So… active!

    2. Cleo says:

      I don’t understand why you would want to bring more babies into the world if your parenting is unsatisfactory.

      • Funn Lim says:

        Article didn’t say he is not a good parent. Just says he has lots of babies with different women.

        • Cleo says:

          that won’t make any of his kids or wives feel good about themselves – therefore, not good parenting

    3. TVBFanatic says:

      I know it has little to do with the article… but I loved Gong Li in Red Sorghum. The CBC here used to show it every 3rd or 4th week early in the morning… no idea why, but I must have watched it 5 or so times that summer…

      • Funn Lim says:

        She was so young! Have you seen Raise The Red Lantern?

        • TVBFanatic says:

          yes! “Raise the Red Lantern” was also on the same CBC channel as a part of that “international movies” show. Loved that one too.

        • Jayne says:

          I enjoyed “Raise the Red Lantern” as well. Zhang Yimou has an eye for beautiful details in his films.

          Although “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers” were did not offer true martial arts thrill, the visuals were stunning and left a vivid impression even after all these years.

        • Funn Lim says:

          I disagree on Hero. That fight scene between Jet Li and Donnie Yen made me see Donnie Yen in a new light and Zhang Yimou was able to capture the fighting perfectly without all those headache sort of filming techniques. The flaw of Hero was casting many actors who can’t fight as fighters (ahem) tony leung, maggie Cheung

        • clamine says:

          For myself, never understand the appeal of Hero – though my sister raved about it. I’ve watched quite a few of Gong Li’s movies on dvds including The Red Lantern (twice – on dvd and on tv) and Red Sorghum. But the most unforgettable movie got to be ‘To Live’. (happened to catch it on tv) At the time I didn’t know Gong Li but a few years later remembering movie’s impact on me, I borrowed the dvd from my public library, and it was still as powerful to watch the 2nd time around.

        • sophia says:

          yeah yeah love love her, very talented. And a beauty.

        • sophia says:

          i watched memoir of geisha because of her not the other actress.

      • Cleo says:

        I love that song when it was sung again at the end – to encourage her and let her know she is safe and not alone

    4. chky says:

      haha, so high penalty, china govt must be very hungry for money

      • Lin says:

        Back then, couples (especially farmers) sometimes had 10+ children. If the government did not impose a high penalty, the population may be even worse now?

        • HeTieShou says:

          Yup, back in the days many families had a lot of children. Even in my family, we would have had 12-13 kids if my mom did not miscarry. These days even having 2 kids are a handful, but back then even having 8 was not ccnsidered much(which was what my family had). Times are just different now.

    5. M says:

      Given the “1 child policy”, it’s interesting that he has had 7 children. But if your annual income is almost $13 Million USD you probably can get multiple exemptions. If he didn’t marry the mothers of the other 3 children, what is their legal status?

      • GL says:

        Aren’t children born out of wedlock considered illegitimate (meaning no legal status)? If so, then practically all his children are illegitimate except for maybe one (by ex-wife).

        Don’t think the “1 child policy” takes into consideration legitimacy. Otherwise, that would leave a loophole.
        And, I’m sure the government will word the policy so as to maximize revenue (meaning no extra child is born without penalty).

        In 2011, the government did say that it will consider relaxing the policy to allow for a 2nd child without penalty.

        • M says:

          Thanks for the info. If there are 3 other children I feel sorry for them for being caught up in this scandal now. I read an article that his 2nd marriage and 3 children were first reported last year by an actress fired from his last movie. I wonder why the Chinese mainland news outlets are picking the story up a year later. Perhaps it’s to distract or cover from some other scandal involving gov’t officials.

        • GL says:

          May be due to the huge debate over the “One-Child Policy” started from cases like Zhang Yimou?

          “Do money and power top the law? Can the rich just use money to solve everything and get what they want?”, wrote one Weibo user.

          It’s quite “risky” for women to have children out of wedlock. There may be many other women out there like them. And, they may get next to nothing.

        • HeTieShou says:

          It is sad if women want to have kids with rich men just so they can get something. Why can’t women be more responsible and independant and not just rely on the men?? The next thing you know, they just abandon you and you are stuck with the kid/kids, then what will you do????

    6. sky says:

      he can join the NBA or NFL now…he’s in a league with dwight howard who’s a fake xtina.

    7. GL says:

      Sounds like the “One-Child Policy” is not easy to enforce. In general (not only Zhang Yimou), there must be many violations out there that are still a “secret”.

    8. Mlove says:

      1 child per family. That’s crazy, but china definetly needs it. What if the woman is pregnant with another baby? Does she have to abort it or give it up for adoption?

      Must suck to live in China.

      • WildBerries says:

        They make you pay a fine. I’ve read from the news where farmers can’t afford to pay for the fines and were dragged into the hospital then forced to abort their unborn.

        It’s sad to hear about these stories. But China needs to control their population or else it’s a global problem.

        • GL says:

          FYI, authorities claim that the policy has prevented more than 250 million births between 1980 and 2000, and 400 million births from about 1979 to 2011.

      • Larry 3 says:

        It does suck if you want to have more children. Most people do pay the fine, others just dont want to deal with RED China and doesnt report to the corrupt government.

      • Iris says:

        My relatives in China stated a few years back that they would have to pay a lifelong tax if they had a second child, since the one-time fine hadn’t been working well enough (in other words, not generating enough government revenue). There are exceptions these days though…families formed from ethnic minorities, from two only childs, or from two college graduates are allowed to have 2 kids now.

        My friends who live in China are expecting their first child, and the doctors won’t tell them the gender because too many people abort baby girls in hopes of letting their only child be a son.

        The sad sexism, discrimination, and communist control in China =(

        • GL says:

          “doctors won’t tell them the gender because too many people abort baby girls”

          Due to “sex-selective abortion”, the unbalanced sex ratio risks social instability caused by a surplus of men without partners. The ratio (at birth) is something like 120 males per 100 females. And, wealthy men like Zhang Yimou is taking 4+ women. No wonder why there is a huge debate/controversy over “One-Child Policy”.

    9. Larry 3 says:

      A pimp! :)

    10. Panzer says:

      If only all other countries took a proactive approach to overpopulation, we would all be living a lot more comfortably without worrying as much about the future of our children.
      It may be harsh, but that is what is necessary to make the earth’s resources last as long as possible.

      I just hope they are financially supported enough o live a comfortable life to make up for the absence of a father. – Or that the women can find good men to marry and adopt them.

    11. Cleo says:

      watching Seeking Asian Wife by Debbie Lum, I thought that maybe the Chinese wives are so obedient and selfless because their parents are so inconsiderate about having them

    12. sushiroll says:

      why everyone surprised? Humans originate from animals so it’s survival of the fittest.

      • GL says:

        Only humans have morality, not animals.

        With blatant multiple violations not reported, “Zhang Ye Pimp” should be jailed and penalty should be per violation.

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