Chinese court rejects Canadian pop star Kris Wu's appeal
BEIJING - A court in China’s capital Beijing on Nov 24 denied the appeal of Canadian pop star Kris Wu, who was sentenced in November 2022 to 13 years in prison for crimes including rape.
Chinese-born Wu, 33, was a former member of K-pop group EXO and returned to China in 2014, where he built a lucrative career.
“(Kris) Wu violated the will of women and took advantage of the drunkenness of multiple victims to have sexual relations with them. His behaviour constituted the crime of rape,” the Beijing No.3 Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement.
Wu was detained in July 2021 after 19-year-old student Du Meizhu publicly accused him of inducing her and other girls, some of them younger than 18, to have sex with him.
The court said Wu gathered a crowd to engage in lewd activities and was the ringleader, therefore his behaviour constituted the crime of group licentiousness, and it would maintain the original ruling.
Wu’s close relatives and officials from the Canadian embassy in China attended the verdict announcement.
Wu, who could not be contacted, has previously denied the accusation. Reuters did not have access to his relatives or his legal representatives for comment, while the Canadian embassy did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Consular officials have been actively engaged on Wu’s case. The Canadian government said in July that its diplomats were denied access to the start of Wu’s appeal trial. Beijing said it notified the embassy of the appeal trial in advance, but it was not open to the public to protect the privacy of the victims.
In addition to his pop career, Wu in 2017 made his Hollywood debut in the film XXX: Return Of Xander Cage.
At the time of his detention, Wu was an ambassador for 15 brands, such as Bulgari, Lancome, Louis Vuitton and Porsche, all of which immediately severed ties with him. - REUTERS