- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chinese authorities are investigating one of the nation’s leading film directors accused of fathering seven children, a violation of strict laws that allow for one child per family.

The reports of Zhang Yimou’s fathering of seven children first surfaced this week in online sources, The Associated Press reported. He’s accused of having seven children from two marriages and from two other relationships, AP said.

“We are trying to confirm the online rumors,” said a spokesman at the general office of Wuxi city’s family planning committee, in the AP report. The woman said she couldn’t reveal any other specifics of the investigation.

The filmmaker, 61, is also the architect of Beijing’s opening Olympic ceremonies, AP said.

He could face up to $26 million in fines — twice his yearly income, AP reported.