Prada drops Chinese actress over alleged surrogacy row
The popular Chinese actress has now been dropped by Prada
Luxury fashion house Prada has placed a popular Chinese actress at the center of a series for surrogacy.
It has been alleged that Zheng Shuang abandoned two children born overseas as surrogates after separating from their partner.
The actress' conviction was posted online after the news broke. Many demanded that she be banned from the entertainment industry.
She has since spoken out in her own defense. Surrogacy is illegal in China.
Within days of the scandal, the Prada group, which, according to local media, revealed the actress as the face of China just a week ago, posted a statement on its page on the Weibo social media website with the "major recent media outlets." "The coverage of Ms. Zheng's" personal life "resulted in her" ending all relationships. "
What is the series about?
Earlier this week, Zheng Shuang's ex-partner, Zhang Heng, went to Weibo to discuss speculation about why he had been overseas for an extended period.
He revealed he had cared for "two young and innocent lives" - his children. Mr. Zhang added that he is stuck in the US calling his situation "helpless".
His post quickly caught the attention of social media users - and it wasn't long before domestic media found the children's birth certificates showing they were born to two separated women in the U.S. in late 2019 and early 2020.
In addition, Ms. Zheng was listed as her mother - which surprised some as the actress has never been seen visibly pregnant in public.
The couple in happier times
The intense speculation about the possible use of surrogate motherhood seemed to be confirmed by a tape leaked online in which Ms. Zheng was frustrated that it was too late to terminate the pregnancy.
A report in the state newspaper Global Times said the women were seven months pregnant.
A man alleged to be Ms. Zheng's father allegedly suggested that the children be given up for adoption.
The recording met with anger, with many calling the actress "cruel" and accusing her of being an irresponsible mother.
Baby born four years after parent's death
What are the rules for buying and selling babies?
In a statement Tuesday, Ms. Zheng referred to an audio recording and said it was just a clip from a "six-hour" conversation. She added that she would not "run away from what I said" - although it was not clear what exactly she was referring to.
Local media suggest that Mr. Zhang cannot enter China with the children without her signing papers.
State broadcaster CCTV issued a strong statement saying China forbids "all forms of surrogacy" and said "surrogacy and child abandonment are against social morality and public order".
The hashtag #DoYouSupportSurrogacy began to spread to Weibo. Many called it morally unethical, adding that it was only open to rich people who could afford to hire surrogates overseas.
Meanwhile, state media broadcast The Global Times quoted a Beijing-based marital lawyer as saying that while surrogacy is illegal in China, those who pay for such services abroad cannot be charged under local law.
However, the lawyer added that her "abandonment of their children" is still "under the jurisdiction of Chinese law."
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