updated 20 Jan 2010, 15:14
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Fri, Jan 15, 2010
The Straits Times
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Ziyi lashes out at rumours of fling

Beijing - Actress Zhang Ziyi condemned on Wednesday a report alleging she had an affair with a married businessman, amid speculation over the reason hooded men had splashed ink last month on a billboard bearing her image.

Her lawyer called it a 'vicious' rumour and said legal action would be taken against those who damaged the star's reputation, reported Ming Pao Daily News.

Tabloid talk about Zhang, 30, has swirled since an incident dubbed 'Ink Splash-gate' on Dec 23. She was spotted that night in the lobby of the Park Hyatt Beijing, where paparazzi were waiting for actress Maggie Cheung and architect Ole Scheeren to show up for their supposed engagement bash.

Dramatically enough, though Cheung and Scheeren were no-shows, a group of men stormed the lobby asking for Zhang.

At a store not far from the hotel, a giant advertisement featuring her was later splashed with ink.

On Wednesday, a report linking the incident to her alleged dalliance made its rounds on the Chinese Internet. In an interview with Wan Quan Yu Le magazine, a self-professed socialite claimed that she introduced Zhang to a married businessman and that the star had a fling with him when she was still with multi-millionaire Vivi Nevo.

The woman, Zhao Xinyu, also claimed that Zhang split up with Nevo as they could not see eye to eye about marriage.

Zhang's lawyer admitted that the star used to be friends with Zhao but called her claims a 'personal attack'.

According to a statement by Zhang's manager, Ji Lingling, the star is making a Wong Kar Wai movie in Shenyang now.

Ji also said of the report: 'This rumour is like an ant solemnly announcing that it is pregnant with an elephant's child. Do you believe it?'

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

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