Kitty Zhang Yuqi's former and present agents have denied that the Chinese actress' twin children were born through surrogacy after an alleged surrogacy agreement went viral online.
The scandal over Chinese actress Zheng Shuang, who was accused of abandoning two surrogate babies in the United States, has turned the spotlight on surrogacy in China.
Some Chinese netizens even started naming several actresses suspected of having surrogate children. Zhang was one of them.
The 33-year-old, who rose to fame after acting in Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Chow's movie CJ7 (2008), gave birth to twins - a boy and a girl - in October 2017 while she was married to businessman Yuan Bayuan between 2016 and 2018. She was also married for four years to director Wang Quan'an. They split in 2015.
Zhang's agency swiftly denied the surrogacy allegation last Friday (Jan 22) after it surfaced online, and threatened to sue netizens spreading the rumours.
However, on Tuesday (Jan 26), a netizen uploaded the surrogacy agreement said to be signed by Zhang. The agreement in English was likely to be fake as it used Zhang's stage name Yuqi Zhang. Her real name is Zhang Shuang.
Zhang's former agent Xiao Ya was the first to react to the post, writing on Weibo: "Stop spreading rumours. Could a mother whose children were born through surrogacy breastfeed during that period? Stop hurting Little Yu."
Ms Xiao was referring to Zhang breastfeeding while filming the TV series Behind The Scenes in December 2017.
Another former agent Yang Tianzhen also came to her defence on Tuesday, posting on Weibo a photo of Zhang she found in her mobile phone. In the 2017 photograph, Zhang was seen sitting on a sofa with her baby bump visible.
The actress' current agent is also believed to have clarified her situation, as screengrabs from a messaging group showed her posting a photo of Zhang when she was pregnant.
Zhang recently appeared in the reality talent show Sisters Who Make Waves and was one of the seven winners who went on to form the girl group X-Sister. The group was dissolved on Jan 1.