File photo of Chinese pop singer Man Wenjun
Pop star Man Wenjun has been locked in a police cell after he was allegedly busted with heroin during a raid on his wife's birthday party.
In news that has shocked the entertainment industry, the 40-year-old singer, his wife Li Li and more than ten other people were detained by police early on Tuesday.
Police acting on an anonymous tip-off raided the VIP room at the popular Coco Banana club in Beijing as Man celebrated his wife's birthday with their friends.
Man - who shot to fame with his 1996 hit "I Understand You All the Time" - his wife and more than 10 other people tested positive to drug use during urine tests, the Beijing News reported. An unnamed drug dealer in Beijing told the China Entertainment Net that the celebrity couple were frequent drug users and bought 2.5 grams of heroin from him on Monday.
Coco Banana nightclub
The Coco Banana venue, one of the capital's most popular nightclubs and the venue of choice of visiting international DJs, has been ordered to close for up to six months.
Mai Hongmei, the actress wife of singer Sun Nan, and Meng Jun, Man and Sun's music producer, were briefly detained, according to a report on the CCTV website.
Mai gave a brief statement to police and said that she did not see anyone using drugs , after which she was allowed to go home, Phoenix entertainment reported. The Legal Evening News, citing police sources, said the Man couple had confessed to drug use.
An official from the China foundation for children with brain paralysis, where Man has been a brand ambassador since 2007, said she was shocked and the foundation "was not ready to comment".
Unconfirmed local reports said Man and his wife may be sent to a rehabilitation center.
Song Ke, CEO of Taihe Rye Music, to which Man is currently contracted, refused to comment.
The incident has sparked online discussion about the moral standards of celebrities.
Some of these celebrities' behaviors "challenge society's bottom line", Zhang Jian, a lawyer from Beijing, wrote on his blog.
"Their so-called 'fame' and 'influence' is absolutely non-tradable with the moral bottom line of society and the law," Zhang said.
"The least this incident could do is make the public be less narrow minded and more rational in dealing with celebrities."
Luo Qi, once known as China's best female rock singer, spent three months in a drug rehabilitation center in July 1997.
Luo said yesterday that whatever excuse people - be they from inside the entertainment industry or out of it - come up with for drug use "is a highly pathetic thing".
(China Daily May 21, 2009)