Bo Guagua, pictured, has acquired the unsavory reputation of an entitled playboy. (Internet photo)
The latest issue of Hong Kong-based Yazhou Zhoukan claims to have information that Bo Guagua, the son of defenestrated former Chongqing Communist Party chief Bo Xilai, sexually harassed the daughter of the former United States ambassador to Beijing, Jon Huntsman. The incident reportedly angered Huntsman and nearly caused a diplomatic crisis between China and the US.
Even before the downfall of Bo Xilai, who is now under investigation for "serious discipline violations," Bo Guagua has been seen as a playboy taking advantage of his father's money and influence.
The Wall Street Journal first reported in November that Bo Guagua was spotted driving a red Ferrari to pick up one of Huntsman's daughters from the embassy for a dinner date. But the magazine suggested that Bo made unwelcome advances bordering on sexual harassment, angering the young woman's father and nearly causing a diplomatic crisis. The incident was reportedly widely known in political circles in Beijing.
Bo Guagua's arrival in a sports car and tuxedo fueled rumors that he lives a privileged lifestyle thanks to his father's influence. The daughter in the incident may have been Abby Huntsman Livingston or Elizabeth Huntsman, the magazine said.
Last week, Bo Guagua responded to the various allegations in an email statement sent to the student newspaper of Harvard University, where he is pursuing a master's degree, stressing that he had never driven a Ferrari and never been to the US embassy in Beijing. He said that all of his student visas for the US were issued by the consulate in Chengdu.