Officials fired in China sex tape scandal

A scandal involving Chinese city officials having sex with women hired by developers who secretly videotaped the trysts to extort construction deals broadened today with state media announcing 10 more officials fired.

The first, high-profile case broke in November when video clips went viral online of a 50-something official, Lei Zhengfu, in the south western city of Chongqing in the throes of passion.

Images of his jowly, pop-eyed face became targets of derision and disgust over government corruption.

Mr Lei was fired as Communist Party chief of a Chongqing district.

State media said today that 10 more district and county-level officials in the city’s government, party departments and state-owned enterprises who appeared in additional videos have been fired.

The expanding scandal comes as China’s newly installed leadership has vowed to crack down on rampant official corruption that threatens the party’s legitimacy.

Even as China’s new Communist Party chief Xi Jinping has repeatedly pledged to strike hard against graft, authorities have been faced with a steady stream of bribery cases and other malfeasance.

In recent weeks, Chinese audiences have been riveted by revelations that some officials have amassed multiple properties using duplicate or fake identities. Soaring real estate prices have pushed home ownership out of reach for many Chinese, so such scandals are especially infuriating to the public.

Zhu Ruifeng, the former journalist who released the first video, said at the time that the woman, whose face is not visible in the screen grabs, was hired by a construction company to sleep with Mr Lei in return for construction contracts.

The company later tried to use the tape to extort more business from Mr Lei.

Citing the city’s anti-corruption committee, the state-run Xinhua News agency described the developers behind the extortion as a “criminal ring” and said the company had “hired women to seduce local officials, covertly filmed their sexual acts and used the videos as tools of extortion”.

More in this Section

Pope Francis pleads with Central African Republic factions to seek peace

200 people arrested at Climate Change protests in Paris

Police call petrol can attack on Finsbury Park Mosque a 'hate crime'

Planned Parenthood clinic shooting suspect said 'no more baby parts'

You might also like

Today's Stories

Pope Franis brings peace message to Central African Republic

Activists say ‘No planet B’ in case of climate change ahead of Paris talks

Volkswagen chiefs ‘knew about emissions issue year ago’

Germany could send 1,200 to support fight against Islamic State


Equal pay for equal work but no country pays men and women the same

Boredom is a key part of creativity and should be explored

BIG READ: Sexism and fear keeping women away from Hollywood's top jobs

Eat your way to an illness free winter

More From The Irish Examiner