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California court to hold opening hearings in international drama Friday

A California federal court is going to play host to an international drama Friday. While the case does deal with at least one celebrity, it is far from Hollywood fiction.

The court will hold preliminary hearings for a defamation case brought by Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi. She is perhaps best known to U.S. audiences for her 2000 film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and is one of the biggest stars in China.

Several months ago, a Chinese website ran an article claiming that Ziyi also worked as a high-priced escort. The story was picked up by many international news sources.

Now, Ziyi has filed a defamation lawsuit against the journalist and the website that ran the article. She claims that because of the damage to her reputation, she has missed out on film opportunities and alleges that her ability to earn income from endorsements has suffered.

She is also asking the journalist to reveal his sources for the story. This element of the case has become something of a politically loaded issue. Ziyi has filed her lawsuit in the U.S., where we respect freedom of the press and tend to be reluctant to force journalists to reveal their sources. However, the website that published the original story is Chinese, and China is much more restrictive of its media. Because of the political tension here, news outlets across the globe are expected to cover this case.

If anything interest regarding Ziyi's lawsuit emerges on Friday, we will be sure to recap it for you next week.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "'Crouching Tiger' Actress Demands Journalist Reveal Sources Behind Prostitution Story," Eriq Gardner, Jan. 22, 2013

  • Our Los Angeles law firm handles entertainment law matters. If you would like to learn more, we invite you to visit the Entertainment Litigation portion of our website.

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