Chinese Communist "princeling" Bo Xilai, expected by many to take a key leadership position in the leadership transition of 2012, was expelled from the Communist Party in September after a career that saw him as Mayor of Dalian City, Minister of Commerce and Party Chief of the Chongqing municipality. His wife Gu Kailai received a suspended death sentence in August 2012 for murdering British business partner Neil Heywood.
Bo Xilai tells of Wang Lijun’s secret ‘love affair’ with his wife Gu Kailai
Former police chief was 'emotionally entangled' and he defected only when relationship was revealed, court told
The last day of Bo Xilai's trial culminated with the surprise revelation of an illicit love affair between his wife Gu Kailai and his former top aide Wang Lijun .
Trial transcripts and earlier media reports showed how the pair went from being strangers to friends, lovers and enemies in the course of less than five years.
In a sensational attempt to defend himself, Bo told the court yesterday that the former police chief of Chongqing defected only after his secret relationship with Gu was unexpectedly brought to light.
"He [Wang] and Gu Kailai are as inseparable as paint and glue. Gu listened to his every word," Bo told the court.
He said that the real reason for Wang's defection was his hidden love affair with Gu. "He was so emotionally entangled and could no longer control it. He professed his love to Gu," Bo said.
According to Bo's account, Wang even wrote a letter to Gu expressing his affection and slapped himself in the face eight times in front of her. When Gu said Wang was a bit "abnormal", he responded: "I was abnormal, but I'm normal now."
Their "hidden love" started when Xu Ming , former chairman of Dalian Shide Group, introduced Wang to Gu, according to the trial transcript blogged by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court.
In a cross-examination with Bo's lawyers on the first day of the trial, Xu admitted he had introduced the two, but refused to give more details.
Southern Metropolis Weekly ran a report in December 2012 saying Wang, then police chief of Jinzhou city in Liaoning province, first met Gu in late 2007 at Xu's recommendation to look into an alleged poisoning case, when Gu suspected her medicine had been contaminated with toxic heavy metals.
"Gu's driver was dismissed and she was quite satisfied. Later, Wang was transferred to Chongqing," the report quoted Xu as saying, citing unpublished court files when Wang was tried for defecting and covering up Gu's role in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in 2012.
After they met, Wang took more responsibility for guarding Gu's health and son Bo Guagua's safety. In return, he was rewarded with swift promotions.
Wang was transferred to Chongqing in June 2008 as a deputy director of the city's public security bureau. In less than three years, Wang was already the municipality's deputy mayor and police chief.
During the court hearing last year, Wang said he visited Gu's home often after moving to Chongqing. "Gu was treating me quite nicely," he was quoted as saying by Xinhua. In fact, they became so close that Wang could enter Gu's home "anytime, at will", Bo said, adding that "their extremely special relationship" had made him very upset.
The two even had nicknames for each other, Southern Metropolis Weekly reported. Wang was known as guizi, or demon, to Gu and her son, while Gu was addressed by Wang as guama, or Gua's mom. Privately, Wang's aides referred to Gu as their "teacher's wife".
The relationship soured in June 2011, after Wang failed to be promoted to being a standing member of the Chongqing municipal party committee that May, months before Heywood's murder, the Weekly reported.
Gu's distrust of Wang deepened in mid-December 2011, fearing Wang would expose the murder case. Wang still tried to restore the relationship with Gu and Bo, inviting Xu Ming to mediate in January last year.
On February 4 last year, Wang had a long conversation with Gu, during which she burst into tears. Two days later, he fled to the US consulate in Chengdu .