Star of smash film The Mermaid, Kitty Zhang, divorces after police report into domestic dispute goes viral

Zhang is accused of wounding her husband with a fruit knife after trivial argument turned physical

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 September, 2018, 7:58pm
UPDATED : Friday, 28 September, 2018, 10:58am

A star of Stephen Chow’s 2016 box office smash The Mermaid, Zhang Yuqi, also known as Kitty Zhang, and her husband have divorced, it was announced on Thursday. The announcement came after a screenshot of a police report on a violent marital dispute went viral on social media.

Zhang was accused of wounding her husband, businessman Yuan Bayuan, with a fruit knife on Monday evening, a claim she denies, leaving him with two scratches to his back, around one centimetre (less than half an inch) long.

The screenshot was posted shortly after the incident on Monday evening and police confirmed the details of the report on Wednesday, according to Pear Video.

The report said an argument over trivial domestic matters had quickly escalated into physical conflict and Yuan had alerted the police soon after the incident. The couple was taken to the Ruijin Second Road police station in central Shanghai for mediation.

Police did not find the knife in the couple’s home. The report also said that Zhang, 31, denied attacking Yuan, 44, with a knife.

The Mermaid was one of mainland China’s highest-grossing films ever

The case is in the mediation stage, according to the police. On Thursday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the couple, Yang Tianzhen, released a statement on their behalf announcing they had divorced.

“A relationship from start to finish is only the couple’s business,” Yang wrote on her official Weibo account. “Today it is over. I hope the dust will settle and that nobody will privately investigate further.”

Internet users reacted with surprise, with some continuing to show support for the actress.

“Oh my god. Dare to love, dare to hate. If it doesn’t work out then leave, whatever suits her. Respect!” one commenter on Weibo wrote.

Zhang is best-known for her role in Stephen Chow’s 2016 smash-hit fantasy film The Mermaid, which broke Chinese box office records upon its release.

Originally from Shandong province, Zhang rose to fame after she was picked to star in Chow’s science fiction film CJ7 after graduating from acting school in Shanghai.

She married Yuan, a businessman, in 2016 after divorcing her first husband, the film director Wang Quanan, in 2015.