Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu is awaiting sentencing for rape and criminal charges after he faced a closed trial late night in a Beijing court as a massive scandal with allegations from at least two dozen women gripped the nation.
Mr Wu, 31, who was arrested last year in August, was tried for rape and “group licentiousness” - a charge for organising and taking part in group sex - that carries a jail term of up to five years.
The closed trial to protect the identity of the victim took place on Friday at the Chaoyang People’s court, according to Chang’An Net, which belongs to Communist party-controlled China’s powerful Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission.
He was also allegedly involved in a video showing a group of men physically assaulting four women in another city.
The Chinese-born Canadian national was arrested after a 19-year-old college student Du Meizhu accused Mr Wu of allegedly raping her at the age of 17 when she was drunk and unconscious.
Ms Du, who first posted her allegations on social media, said she was pressured to drink alcohol and woke up in his bed the next day. She said seven other women had told her that Mr Wu seduced them on the pretext of giving them jobs and opportunities.
Later, at least 24 more women spoke out against his alleged inappropriate behaviour.
One of China’s biggest celebrities, Mr Wu rose to fame when he joined hit K-pop boy band EXO but split up in 2014 to launch his solo career as a singer, actor and model. He then modelled for dozens of global brands and became a celebrity judge at shows including The Rap of China.
Mr Wu denied all the allegations against him, including allegations of luring girls to have sex with him in exchange for benefits, or involvements with minors.
“There was no ‘groupie sex’! There was no ‘underage’!’” Mr Wu said on his social media account after the allegations at that time. “If there were this kind of thing, please everyone relax, I would put myself in jail!”
A week after allegations emerged, Mr Wu was arrested in August on suspicion of rape and police said Mr Wu “repeatedly deceived young women into sexual relations”.
Following accusations, several brands, including Louis Vuitton and Porsche pulled out of agreements with Mr Wu and severed ties amid an outpouring of outrage against the singer, fuelling the country’s #MeToo movement.
The verdict and sentencing in the case will be issued later, state media reported.
China’s top law enforcement agency, Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, also denounced Mr Wu.
“On Chinese land, it is necessary to abide by Chinese laws. We do not wrong; we do not indulge. We take facts as the basis and the law as the criterion,” it said.
In China, rape is punished with a jail term of three to 10 years and the second charge Mr Wu faces of group licentiousness is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Mr Wu has also featured in Hollywood films, including “XXX: Return of Xander Cage” and “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”.