One of the mainland's most prominent media darlings has fallen victim to a craving for details of the private lives of celebrities. Allegations involving Zhao Zhongxiang , an anchor and host for the state-run Chinese Central Television, started with a court case filed against him for medical fees of 3,800 yuan said to be owed to the plaintiff, Chinese medicine practitioner Rao Ying , 39. Mainland media first reported the case on April 20. Instead of filing the case with the Haidian court in Beijing, the district where Zhao lives, Ms Rao submitted her case to the court in Fengtai district by mistake. The court case might have been misdirected, but it has landed Zhao, 63, in the middle of a series of scandalous allegations which have been widely carried in the mainland's media. Zhao has risen up the ranks of the tightly controlled state media. During his 40 years at CCTV, he has hosted various news programmes and variety shows. As an indication of his status, Zhao hosted CCTV's spring gala for 15 years, the 45th and 50th National Day celebration galas, as well as the shows to mark the return of Hong Kong and Macau to Chinese sovereignty. In addition to his media role, he is also a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. The controversy grew as the New Times, a Shanghai-based tabloid, carried a statement from Ms Rao that she had had a seven-year affair with Zhao and had had two abortions, a claim she later rejected as a fabrication. Yu Fei , the author of the report, said he taped the interview with Ms Rao and 'was extremely cautious' owing to Zhao's celebrity status. 'I made sure to confirm each sentence,' he said. After the New Times report, other media ran follow-ups and the rumours abounded. On April 25, Zhao's lawyer, Wang Fu, released a statement to say Zhao had received calls from the media expressing concern over the civil claim. 'Certain media have released material that is outside the scope of the court case ... Me and my client do not have any obligation to verify information that is put forward outside the court, and is unrelated to the case,' Mr Wang said. But regardless of whether the allegations are true, they are unlikely to blow over on the mainland any time soon.