Chinese actress Fan Bingbing seems to have reacted to recent rumours that she has a new man in her life.
There was footage circulating online over the weekend which allegedly showed her behaving intimately with a tall bespectacled man outside a restaurant.
Netizens also scrutinised a recent video of her singing karaoke and found a similar-looking man sitting next to her.
A netizen claimed that the rumoured boyfriend is the deputy chief executive of a financial company and a former soldier who had spent 18 years in the military.
Fan, 40, broke her silence late on Tuesday (June 21) as she shared a photo of herself on Weibo.
She wrote: "The only person everyone can rely on for the rest of his or her life is actually himself or herself. I believe deeply in this and have practised it all my life."
Fan, who parted ways with her fiance, actor Li Chen, in June 2019, said in the post that pinning one's hopes of happiness on anyone else would make a person passive, and that she preferred to be the one taking the initiative.
"People who care will worry about you when you are in a difficult situation. But they can only express their concerns even if they are worried about you," she wrote.
Fan was embroiled in a tax-evasion scandal in 2018 and was ordered by the Chinese authorities to cough up more than 880 million yuan in overdue taxes and fines.
"I always tell myself that life will not be too bad and I can overcome the difficulties when I rely on myself. The days will be better if I remain down-to-earth," she concluded in her post.
While Fan did not mention any names in her post, some believed that she was reacting to rumours of her new boyfriend.
Fan's acting career has been in limbo since the tax-evasion scandal. She has been replaced in movies, with the exception being Hollywood spy film The 355 (2022).
She recently made a guest appearance in new K-drama Insider, sparking speculation that she is turning to the South Korean market after being shunned in China.
However, she is also said to be paving the way for a comeback in China after she graced the cover of Glass magazine's June issue, her first magazine cover in the country since the scandal broke. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network