Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai publicly accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoi of sexual assault in a post on Chinse social media site Weibo.
In a lengthy post that has been deleted in under 30 minutes, Peng alleged on Nov. 2 that Zhang “forced” her to having sexual relations with him.
“I know that for someone of your eminence, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, you said you were not afraid. But even if it’s just me, like an egg hitting the stone, a moth flying into flames, courting self-destruction, I would tell the truth about us,” Peng, 35, wrote.
Peng alleged that Zhang, a close ally of President Xi Jinping, had first coerced her into sex when he invited her over to his house over 10 years ago.
“That afternoon I didn’t give my consent and couldn’t stop crying,” Peng said.
“I was panicking and I was scared,” Peng added.
Peng then seemed to indicate that she entered an extramarital relationship with Zhang, 75.
Peng also acknowledged that she would not be able to provide evidence to support her claims.
“I have no evidence, and it has been impossible to leave any evidence… There is no audio record, no video record, only my distorted but very real experience,” Peng wrote.
Peng’s claims come as the latest development in a series of high profile #MeToo cases in China.
Peng’s allegation also comes as the first against one of China’s senior political leaders.
Screenshots of the post across Chinese internet have been censored and searches for Peng’s account have been blocked.
Zhang, who served as vice premier from 2013 to 2018, has not responded to the claims.
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