Chinese actress Zheng Shuang (郑爽) sparked outrage in the country after she was accused for wanting to abandon her surrogate children in the United States. This accusation only adds to the list of controversies surrounding the messy breakup between the actress and her ex-boyfriend Zhang Heng (张恒), which happened two years ago.
In January 2020, Zheng Shuang submitted a lawsuit to Shanghai’s Higher People’s Court, suing Zhang Heng for borrowing 20 million yuan from high-interest loaners under her name to invest in personal business ventures. The case’s second hearing was held on January 19, 2021.
Reporters reached out to Zhang Heng’s defense lawyer Zhou Jun (周俊), who stated that Zhang Heng has denied all accusations. The 20 million yuan borrowed was used to invest in the actress’ career and personal goals, as Zhang Heng had also acted as her part-time manager while they were still dating.
Zheng Shuang Insisted Zhang Heng Take the Money
According to Zhou Jun, Zheng Shuang submitted WeChat private messages as evidence of prosecution during the court’s first hearing. However, the evidence provided was insubstantial. Per Zhou Jun, in November 2018 while the ex-couple was still living together, Zheng Shuang reportedly asked Zhang Heng on WeChat about his thoughts, “What do you think about the 20 million?” she allegedly wrote. Zhang Heng replied, “Then just say it’s me who’s borrowing it.”
At the time of those text message exchanges, Zheng Shuang suggested he quit his job so he could work for her full-time. “Zhang Heng didn’t really want to do it,” said Zhou Jun, “He really cares about face. If he stays working part-time for Zheng Shuang, the two would have a equally balanced relationship. If he works full-time for Zheng Shuang, then she clearly would have more power over him.”
Allegedly, Zheng Shuang was the first to suggest giving 20 million yuan to Zhang Heng. In their verbal contract, Zhang Heng would receive the amount upfront in exchange for working as Zheng Shuang’s manager, instead of receiving a salary.
When Zhang Heng expressed his reservations via text, Zheng Shuang said, “Then we should just meet once a month.” Zhou Jun said Zheng Shuang was trying to threaten Zhang Heng to quit his job and work for her. If he didn’t accept Zheng Shuang’s money, then they could no longer live together. Zhang Heng eventually agreed to take the job and the money.
Dispute Over How Money Was Spent
However, in court, Zheng Shuang claimed that Zhang Heng borrowed 20 million yuan to invest for business. When asked about what businesses, Zheng Shuang reportedly said, “I don’t know.”
According to Zhou Jun, some of the 20 million yuan was used to assist Zheng Shuang in managing her own business ventures. “In November 2018, Zhang Heng received the money,” said Zhou Jun, who has evidence that 7.5 million (out of the total 20 million yuan) was used on the couple’s shared living expenses, company staff fees, company renovation, investments in Zheng Shuang’s clothing company, and their surrogate children. At least 1.7 million yuan was spent on the children.
Zhou Jun said it is impossible that the pair’s two companies were the “business ventures” that Zheng Shuang was referring to in her lawsuit, as the actress herself had invested over 10 million yuan in the business.
Their joint business venture includes WHALEVII, in which Zhang Heng is the legal representative and owns 32 percent of shares. However, Zheng Shuang is the largest shareholder, with 68 percent of shares. Zhang Heng is also the legal representative of their subsidiary company, in which he owns 23.04 percent of shares, while Zheng Shuang holds 48.96 percent of the shares.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.