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BOXUN.COM (United States)

Now disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, at the center of a scandal shaking China's ruling elite, is alleged to have paid large sums of money to have sex with celebrated Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, according to Boxun.com, a U.S.-based Chinese website.

Boxun, which had previously broken news about Bo's demise and been consequently attacked by hackers, has what is claims to be a new, extra-saucy scoop that could add a twist to a political drama that has riveted many in China, and beyond.

Boxun claims today that Zhang – best-known for her role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon the Oscar-winning film by Taiwanese-American director Ang Lee - had more than 10 encounters with Bo between 2007 and 2011.

The 33-year-old actress denied the allegations, quipping on her personal microblog that many people "can take wind as rain" using their imaginations, China Post (Taiwan) reports.

According to the Boxun report, Xu Ming, a Chinese businessman and close friend to Bo, is said to have confessed to Beijing authorities that he'd arranged a deal to pay a total of 16 million RMB ($2.5 million) as "gratuities' for the actress. The article says Zhang Ziyi is currently under police investigation, and is prohibited from leaving the country. There are reports that she was a surprise no-show at the recently concluded Cannes film festival.

Bo Xilai, the former Communist Party boss of China's Chongqing City, was thought to be headed for a key national post before he and his wife were accused of corruption. On April 10, he was suspended from all his Party duties and is now undergoing an investigation for "serious violations of discipline," as China prepares for a momentous change in leadership. Bo's wife is also suspected of involvement in the murder of a British national.

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