Chinese film star Wang Baoqiang (王宝强) publicly announced on Sina Weibo on August 14 that he is divorcing his wife Ma Rong (马蓉) and firing his agent Song Zhe (宋喆) after their secret love affair was exposed. The love scandal immediately became a top trending topic on Chinese social media.
Wang posted the announcement after midnight on his official Weibo account, where he has over 21 million followers. By Sunday afternoon, the message was soon shared over 560.000 times and received over 1,5 million comments.
In the statement, Wang describes himself as a loyal husband who would always put his family first. But, he says, he cannot tolerate actions that harm family life – which is what the relationship between his wife Ma Rong and agent Song Zhe allegedly does.
Wang Baoqiang (1984) is a famous actor, especially known for his role in the film hit Blind Shaft (盲井). He was married to Ma Rong since 2009, the two have a son and a daughter.
Ma Rong responded to the controversy on her Weibo account five hours later, saying: “Trying to hide would only make matters worse, the good and the evil each have their truth. Karma will have its turn in due time, if not now.”
Rong also responded to her estranged husband’s message through WeChat, accusing her husband Wang of abandoning his family and friends.
The many netizens responding to Wang offer their support, saying that Wang is a good family man. Some also offer more practical support, like a lawyer who says he will help out Wang for free in arranging his divorce.
News of the love scandal has exploded on Weibo, with many netizens scolding Ma Rong and posting (naked) pictures and videos that allegedly prove the secret affair.
Extramarital affairs often become trending topic on Chinese social media, also when it does not concern celebrity couples. Recently, there have been many videos circulating on social media of women beating up the alleged mistresses of their husbands. Generally, public opinion blames women when they have an extramarital affair. When it is the husband who is cheating, it generally also is the woman (mistress) who gets punished.
By now, the news of Wang’s broken marriage has become so big, that some coffee shops are offering their customers “buy one, get one free” on this day of broken hearts.
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