China‘s Guo Meimei who until recently captivated netizens with her inexplicable wealth and uber glamorous lifestyle has come to experience a precipitous fall from public grace after the purported Red Cross charity worker came to be revealed as a high end escort after getting caught in a betting scandal.
Until recently the 23 year old who almost out of nowhere began to covet the machinations of inner elite circles and popular forums had come to make mainland Chinese dizzy with exhilaration and wonder as she took to parading in fast cars, designer brands and documenting her glamour-filled life on social media.
Whilst many netizens came to idolize her and desire the splendid lifestyle the Red Cross charity worker was able to lead (courtesy to generous friends she would insist) many had along the way had come to criticize her as Guo Meimei relentlessly set about flaunting her inexplicable wealth.
From shots of Guo Meimei sunbathing on luxury yachts, sitting behind stacks of casino chips along with Meimei posting a screenshot of her bulging 10-digit bank balance for all to admire, the young woman posed more questions than answers as the purported Red Cross charity worker continued to live her lavish life.
So exhilarating was the young woman’s lifestyle it sparked a boycott of Red Cross and demands for a thorough investigation, who come 2011 was already reeling from the weight of insider corruption assertions.
Despite her gaudy opulent showing, many would in the end would come to decry the 23 year old as a a gleaming example of inequality in a nation grappling with extreme social divide.
Yet that too has now come and gone after China’s state broadcaster China Central Television revealed some of the money’s origins, in an astonishing news package complete with a recorded ‘confession’ by a meek Ms Guo and testimony from a sour ex-boyfriend and a snitching personal assistant.
In the end it would be a betting scandal that would undermine the woman who perhaps too ironically had been bragging to her legion of nearly two million followers on Weibo – China’s broad equivalent of Twitter – about the big bets she was making.
On top of participating in the online World Cup betting syndicate, Guo Meimei admitted to operating an illegal poker den from an inner-city Beijing apartment. She also supplemented her income by having sex with men for money, but never for less than 100,000 yuan ($17,400) an encounter.
The rise and fall of Guo Meimei has enthralled, in an undeniably voyeuristic way, the Chinese public. As well as a revealing glimpse into an extreme yet not altogether isolated example of China’s notorious mistress culture, Guo’s story also reflects the internet’s ability to cut down online celebrities as quickly as they create them – a trait hardly exclusive to China.
Scmp tells that Gou is the latest in a series of detained celebrities paraded on national television prior to a court trial. Last year, venture capitalist and liberal blogger Charles Xue Biqun made a public confession on CCTV about how he had abused his celebrity status, after he was arrested for allegedly soliciting prostitutes in Beijing.
Since being arrested under China’s strict gambling laws, Guo Meimei has been forced to confess she was a high end prostitute who had sex with China’s rich elite for money and had no connection with Red Cross charity.
In turn, the Red Cross has since struggled for donations since being dragged into the scandal, prompting her to issue an apology on state television, dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit.
‘I like to show off,’ she said. ‘I have the vain mindset of a little girl.’
‘I would like to tell the Red Cross that I’m sorry. I want to apologise even more to those people who are unable to get help.’
And perhaps by coincidence, but very unlikely, Guo Meimei’s overplayed televised fall from grace came as a 6.1 magnitude earthquake left nearly 400 casualties in Yunnan, and just after a factory explosion in Jiangsu killed 68.
Red Cross following her confession on state television has urged donors on its Weibo page ‘to please forget Guo Meimei’. Something that one imagines they will get round to doing once the next Guo Meimei grande mademoiselle makes her way…