Will Kris Wu need to pay millions in compensation to brands that cut ties due to sex scandal?
Published: Jul 21, 2021 08:58 PM
Kris Wu photo:CFP

Kris Wu photo:CFP

Top Chinese-Canadian celebrity Kris Wu may have to pay compensation to brands that cut ties with him following a scandal over a series of teen sex allegations, lawyers said.

The former member of K-pop band EXO has been accused of luring young girls into having sex with him by 19-year-old Du Meizhu, who claimed Wu raped her when she was 17. 

Dozens of brands including luxury car brand Porsche announced they were terminating their contracts with Wu.

"In general, brands and a celebrity will agree on the latter's obligations in the contract to maintain a good public image. In the case of scandals, the brands have the right to withdraw from the contract without the consent of the celebrity," a Shanghai-based lawyer told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"The brands don't need to pay the star; on the contrary, Wu might have to pay compensation to the brands due to his violation of the contract and failure to maintain a positive public image," she added.

"If the two parties didn't have such an agreement in their contract, the brand is still able to ask for a certain amount of compensation according to Chinese Civil Law," she noted.

In an earlier interview with NetEase Entertainment, Du claimed that Wu used various methods to identify and lure young women for sex. Du claimed that the number of victims, including herself, was more than eight, including two minors. 

The brands that have cut their ties with Wu include luxury car brand Porsche, French beauty brand Lancome and Tencent Video.

Wu said in a statement on Monday morning that Du's claims are "untrue." Wu's studio also claimed that Du had frequently contacted them and demanded sums of money to keep quiet. 

The scandal continues to cause uproar on social media. Chinese netizens, especially female internet users, have started a campaign with the hashtag "GirlsHelpGirls" on Weibo to support Du in speaking up. Some overseas media reports have called it the Chinese version of the "Me too" campaign.

If the accusations are proved to be false, then the brands' contract termination will not be effective, lawyers told Zongxiang News.

"All these contract items are normal and are in line with business logic," the lawyer explained to the Global Times.