China’s three-time table tennis Olympic gold medallist Zhang Jike is at the center of a media storm for allegedly selling sex tapes of his ex, actress Jing Tian, in order to pay off a gambling debt.
According to Malaysian entertainment news channel Hype, the scandal first emerged via a Weibo user last week. By Monday, as Shanghai’s Dragon TV shared via Twitter, the case had blown up on social media:
As Hype reports, the Weibo source confirmed the case involved three “private videos” of the 34-year-old Chinese actress and one screenshot. Jike allegedly leaked clips of the three private films to other people, including a moneylender to whom Jike owed “massive gambling debts.”
What the moneylender mostly saw, however, were dollar signs. In an attempt to blackmail the actress over the films, the moneylender allegedly showed Jing her own videos and:
initially demanded ¥22m ($3.1m) before dropping to ¥17m ($2.47m).
According to Hype, Jian Tian then called the police on the moneylender, who got seven years in prison for his failed extortion bid. Jike isn’t getting off lightly either. Many brands connected to the ex-table tennis champion, including FAW Toyota Motor and Anta Sports Products, have cut ties with him following the allegations.