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June 23, 2017

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Art organization's founder rejects report alleging sexual harassment

By Wen Shin Kuo--Founder of New Aspect Cultural and Educational Foundation (新象文教基金會) Xu Bo-yun (許博允) yesterday rebutted sexual harassment allegations by vocalist Weng Ruo-pei (翁若珮) in a press conference held in the lounge bar "Tickle my Fantasy" where the harassment allegedly took place.

Xu was accused in a Next Media article of kissing Weng without her consent at the bar where architect Lo Hsien-hua (羅興華) held a gathering to welcome mainland vocalist Wang Hongyao (王宏堯) on Aug. 27, an event which was attended by Xu, Weng, fellow vocalist Lin Hui-zhen (林惠珍) and Lin Ci-yin (林慈音) among others. According to Weng, Xu grabbed her face to his and kissed her on the mouth. In response, Xu said he was just cheek-kissing Weng after he did the same to the guest of honor Wang. Xu claimed that Weng stood up and asked "how about me?" after he made a toast to Wang and mentioned that he would give him a recommendation to compete for an award. He greeted her in the same manner and said he would also recommend Weng to for the award, Xu said.

Lo, the architect and host of the gathering who was also present at yesterday's press conference, said that as far as he could see Xu did not make any advances toward Weng. Lo concurred with Xu's claim that Weng stood up to interact with Xu of her accord.

At a press conference held by Weng on Aug. 28, however, Lin Ci-yin, another guest at the event, said that it was Wang who suggested that Xu give his recommendation to Weng and to kiss her. Lin also claimed to witness Xu touching the vocalist with his arm and elbow. Weng said she was forced to attend the event in the first place and also accused Xu, a Taipei City Government consultant, of threatening her and her friends Lin Ci-yin and Lin Hui-zhen if they were to go public with their accusations.

Xu said yesterday that he would file a defamation lawsuit over the alleged sexual harassment against Weng and the two accompanying vocalists, Lin Hui-zhen and Lin Ci-yin. Xu also will file legal complaints for civil compensation, which he said he will donate to charity, cultural projects, academia and education organizations if he wins.

Xu said he would sue the three vocalists as well as the magazine Next Media (壹週刊) for publishing "false allegations" for up to NT$100 million.

Known as the "Father of Taiwan's Entertainment Industry" (台灣演藝之父), Xu is well known in entertainment circles. Soprano vocalists Weng, Lin Hui-zhen and Lin Ci-yin had earlier signed a contract of cooperation with Taipei Symphony Orchestra (台北市立交響樂團).

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