EVER since the Shanghai papers reported that mainland director Zhang Yimou and his leading lady Gong Li had split romantically, the scandal rags have been on the warpath.
The telephone lines between Hong Kong and Berlin were humming last week as local reporters tracked down associates of Gong and Zhang at the city's film festival to get the scoop, even though the pair are said to have ceased being an item eight months ago.
There's certainly no shortage of speculation over their respective new flames though. Gong is said to be dating a certain Hong Kong businessman - the same businessman in fact who had a stormy relationship last year with local actress Rosamund Kwan Chi-lum. Zhang, they say, is dating a mainland Chinese advertising executive.
Meanwhile, both have gone to ground to avoid the newshounds. Gong has disappeared to Malaysia and Zhang is nowhere to be found.