One of the most famous and highest-grossing actresses in China hasn't been seen in months, and nobody knows what happened to her.
The New York Times reports that Fan Bingbing, a wildly popular actress in China who has also starred in some American films like Iron Man 3 and X-Men: Days of Future Past, has mysteriously vanished. BBC reports that her last public appearance was in early July. Her disappearance may be related to the fact that she was accused of tax evasion in June, per The Hollywood Reporter, leading to speculation that she has been detained by authorities.
But The New York Times reports that she hasn't actually been charged with a crime, and Chinese authorities will not confirm whether she is being investigated at all, although a general investigation into tax evasion in the industry launched in June and resulted in new restrictions on actors' salaries. The Times notes that those close to Fan doubt that her unexplained disappearance only has to do with taxes, though, and there are rumors that she may have fled the country. Her social media pages have not been updated in four months.
In addition to being missing, Fan has also suddenly become a pariah in China, with brands she used to represent completely cutting ties with her and studios scrubbing her from movie posters. In one case, Fan was reportedly removed from a film entirely. One report from August suggested she had been banned from acting for three years, per Variety, but neither this — nor nearly anything else about this strange saga — has been confirmed. Brendan Morrow