Journalist slams Peng for backtracking on sexual assault claims – “Comes off as highly staged”

A reputed journalist slammed Peng Shuai for backtracking on her sexual assault claims, and accused her of lying and spreading rumours.

Peng made headlines and sent the tennis world into shock when she accused a top Chinese government official of sexually assaulting her. The world stood with the former doubles champion, and the entire incident triggered a conflict between the Chinese government and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

The WTA decided to boycott all events in China, but their stand is now in jeopardy. Peng recently came out and addressed her claims, saying that it did not happen.

Accordingly, a journalist from SupChina slammed Peng for backtracking on her sexual assault claims, and suggested that she did it for publicity.

“When you watch the video, it comes off as highly staged,” Jeremy Goldkorn, editor-in-chief of SupChina and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast, told The World’s host Marco Werman, as quoted by The World.

Peng Shuai of China reacts after scoring a point against Monica Niculescu of Romania during their women's singles match of the China Open tennis tournament at the Diamond Court in Beijing
Peng (pictured) backed off from her claims recently. Source: AP

“So, it’s not exactly a reassurance that everything is fine.

“There have been many, many cases of people who have gotten into trouble with the government and then have been forced into television appearances where they say that everything is fine and there’s no problem, and that whatever happened was a misunderstanding.”

Withdrawing the claims

Peng appeared in a video posted by Singaporean Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao, where she addressed the claims and denied it being sexual assault as had been reported.

“First of all, I want to emphasize something that is very important,” she said in the video.

“I have never said that I wrote that anyone sexually assaulted me. I need to emphasize this point very clearly.”

Read more: China opposes WTA’s backing of Peng’s sexual assault claims

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