Initially, the police’s preliminary findings of her allegations said she had played up her story “to enhance her online popularity,” sparking outrage by her supporters and drawing accusations that the authorities were shaming a victim.
This helped to amplify Ms. Du’s allegations, building a rare groundswell of support in a country where women are often discouraged from coming forward with complaints for sexual misconduct, and where victims of sexual assault and harassment are frequently targeted for online abuse and even sued for defamation.
“This day has finally arrived,” Ms. Du wrote on the country’s popular Weibo social media platform after the prison sentence was announced. “I am very grateful for China’s legal system that does not spare any criminals, even if he is a big star,” she later added.
After Mr. Wu’s detention last year, propaganda outlets of China’s ruling Communist Party hailed the arrest as a lesson to celebrities that fame will not shield them from justice.
In its statement, the court said he would also be deported. Officials from the Canadian embassy in China attended the sentencing hearing, the court said. Mr. Wu, who had denied the allegations when they first surfaced, has the right to appeal his conviction and 13-year prison term. Mr. Wu’s lawyer could not be immediately reached.