Prada drops Chinese actress over alleged surrogacy row
Luxury fashion house Prada has dropped a popular Chinese actress at the Centre of a row over surrogacy.
It has been alleged that Zheng Shuang abandoned two children born to surrogates abroad, after splitting up with her partner.
Condemnation of the actress poured out online after the news broke, with many calling for her to be barred from the entertainment industry.
She has since spoken out in her own defence. Surrogacy is illegal in China.
Within days of the scandal emerging, the Prada Group – which, according to local media, had only unveiled the actress as its face of China a week ago – released a statement on its page on the social media site Weibo saying the “significant recent media coverage” of Ms Zheng’s “personal life” led them to terminate “all relations”.
What is the row about?
Earlier this week, Zheng Shuang’s ex-partner Zhang Heng took to Weibo to address speculation about why he had been abroad for an extended period of time.
He revealed he had been taking care of “two young and innocent lives” – his children. Mr Zhang also added that he was stuck in the US, calling his situation “helpless”.
His post quickly captured the attention of social media users – and it wasn’t long before domestic media outlets found the children’s birth certificates, which showed they were born in the US to two separate women in late 2019 and early 2020.
What’s more, Ms Zheng was listed as their mother – which surprised some, as the actress has never been seen in public visibly pregnant.