Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu has been detained on suspicion of rape, police in Beijing have said, after being accused of luring young women into sexual relationships.
In July, the former member of K-pop band Exo was publicly accused by a teenager of having sex with her while she was drunk – an allegation he denied.
The teenager said seven other women contacted her to say the 30-year-old seduced them with promises of jobs and other opportunities. She said some were under 18 but did not say if they were younger than China‘s age of consent of 14.
In a statement released on Saturday, Beijing police said Wu had been “criminally detained” on suspicion of rape “in response to relevant information reported on the internet” including that he “repeatedly lured young women to have sexual relations”.
No further details were given.
The pop star has previously denied the accusations.
“There was no ‘groupie sex’! There was no ‘underage’!” he wrote on his social media account in July. “If there were this kind of thing, please everyone relax, I would put myself in jail!”
Wu rose to fame as a member of K-pop band Exo, who formed in 2011 and went on to become one of Korea’s most famous pop bands, alongside the likes of BTS and Blackpink.
The star left in 2014 to pursue a career as a solo artist and as an actor, and made his Hollywood debut alongside Vin Diesel in XXX: Return of Xander Cage in 2017. He has also modelled for Burberry.
News of his arrest was trending as the most searched topic on Chinese social media site Weibo on Saturday night. Some users started commenting on Wu’s social media account, telling him to “Get out of China!”
Wu is a Canadian citizen, according to the police statement.
The allegations against him were first published by the teenage accuser on social media. She later reiterated her claims in an interview with the internet portal NetEase.
The following day, at least 10 brands – including Porsche and Louis Vuitton – dropped endorsement and other deals with Wu.
Wu has previously said that he met the young woman on 5 December 2020 but that “I didn’t force her to drink”, and “there was not this sort of ‘details’ she describes”.
Meanwhile, police said last week that they had arrested a man who attempted to defraud both Wu and his accuser.
The man, surnamed Liu, pretended to be a victim who had had a similar experience with Wu in order to elicit personal information from the teenager. Both she and Wu said they had asked authorities to investigate.
The force’s statement on Saturday did give any information about that case.