Above: Wen Zhang with girlfriend, Yao Di.
On March 31, Southern Metropolis Weekly broke the news that mainland Chinese actor Wen Zhang (文章) cheated on his pregnant wife, actress Ma Yili (馬伊琍), with one of his previous costars, actress Yao Di (姚笛). As netizens expressed their disapproval, Wen Zhang posted an apology on Sina Weibo in an attempt to calm the waters. However, netizens soon began to question how the magazine had managed to snap so many condemning photographs of the extramarital lovers.
Southern Metropolis Weekly’s chief editors, Xie Xiao (謝曉) and Chen Chaohua (陳朝華), both claimed that they had simply conducted a news report and that their intention was not to unmask the secrets of any celebrities. Nevertheless, well-known paparazzi reporter Zhuo Wei (卓偉) revealed that the media had already gotten wind of Wen Zhang and Yao Di’s love affair last June or July, which is when the paparazzi started following the two.
The question still remains: who leaked the photographs to the press?
Although some people suspect that Yao Di orchestrated the news in a desperate attempt to force Wen Zhang’s hand, it is unlikely that the actress would reveal information so condemning for her career. Now labeled as the “third party” in the news, Yao Di has suffered from the backlash, and many drama producers shared that they were reconsidering working with her in future projects.
It is also improbable that Wen Zhang’s management company or the actor himself leaked the news. Though doing so would drum up hype for his new film, On the Road <我在路上最愛你>, released in theaters on March 28, the negative response would be too much of a risk for the actor’s traditionally sunny image. Indeed, some netizens claimed that they would stop watching Wen Zhang’s movies due to the scandal.
Other people surmise that Ma Yili had already known about the affair and gotten fed up with turning a blind eye on her husband’s cheating ways. By making his misdeeds public, she could protect her daughter and unborn child from existing as a broken family. This theory gained strength when editor Xie Xiao stated in an interview that the actress had sent him a text message to thank him for saving her family.
Many people also suspect that Wen Zhang had previously known about the photographs but had failed to suppress the news. For entertainment news reporters, it is common courtesy to notify celebrities ahead of time about relevant news items so they have time to mentally prepare themselves. Both of Southern Metropolis Weekly’s editors hinted that Wen Zhang had rejected their attempts at intercession and was now paying the price.
This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.