Story at a glance:
- A court ruled against Zhou Xioxuan’s case that alleged a popular TV host sexually harassed her.
- Zhou Xioxuan became the face of the #MeToo movement in China.
- The court said she did not have the standard of proof needed.
A woman in China who became a prominent voice in the country’s #MeToo movement has promised to keep fighting after a court ruled against her sexual harassment case of a popular TV host.
The Haidian people’s court ruled on Tuesday that Zhou Xioxuan, widely known by her nickname Xianzi, did not meet the standard of proof in her case, which alleged that Zhu Jun — her superior at work — sexually harassed her. Zhou says the CCTV host groped and forcibly kissed her while she was an intern in 2014.
“Failure is not shameful, and I am honored to have stood with you together in the past three years … Thank you very much, everyone, I will definitely appeal,” Zhou wrote on her WeChat social media account.
Zhou became the face of China’s #MeToo movement in 2018 after she wrote on social media that Zhu allegedly assaulted her in a dressing room four years earlier, The New York Times reports.
“I told the court today that this incident happened when I was 21, and now I’m 28. In the last three years because of this legal case I wasn’t able to do other work. I was very sad and I couldn’t help but cried in the court today,” Zhou told The Guardian.
“I can accept all sorts of outcome[s], but I just want basic procedural justice,” she said.
Zhou says that she and her lawyer were not given the opportunity to fully put their case before the court, according to The Guardian.
In August 2018, Zhu filed a counter lawsuit against Zhou, according to The New York Times.
Zhu has denied any wrongdoing, saying her accusations are “blatantly fabricated and viciously spread.” In his lawsuit against her, he is demanding about $95,000 in damages, claiming Zhou had harmed his reputation and caused emotional distress.
Zhou had asked for a public apology from Zhu and 50,000 yuan ($7,600) in damages.
“I believe that justice in these basic procedures is a necessary path to take to get a fair result, and all the efforts we made before the hearing are not just for victory, but for a fundamental fairness,” Zhou wrote on Monday.
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