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Tennis Star Peng Shuai Goes Missing - Everything We Know So Far, Including China's Response & Celeb Reactions

Tennis Star Peng Shuai Goes Missing - Everything We Know So Far, Including China's Response & Celeb Reactions

People around the world are expressing their concern for Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who hasn’t been seen in public since making sexual assault allegations against a former government official.

The 35-year-old tennis player spoke out on November 2 in a message that was posted to her Weibo account. For those who don’t know, Weibo is the main social media platform in China.

Peng accused former vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexually assaulting her while he was in office. They were in an on-off relationship at the time. Her message was quickly deleted from Weibo and government censors have blocked any coverage of the topic in China.

Click inside to find out everything we know so far…

An email was sent to the Women’s Tennis Association this week and it included a statement attributed to Peng, claiming that she is okay. The statement was also published by China’s state-owned English-language satellite news channel.

Steve Simon, the chairman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association, has released a statement in response to the email.

“The statement released today by Chinese state media concerning Peng Shuai only raises my concerns as to her safety and whereabouts,” Steve said. “I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is being attributed to her. Peng Shuai displayed incredible courage in describing an allegation of sexual assault against a former top official in the Chinese government. The WTA and the rest of the world need independent and verifiable proof that she is safe. I have repeatedly tried to reach her via numerous forms of communication, to no avail.”

“Peng Shuai must be allowed to speak freely, without coercion or intimidation from any source. Her allegation of sexual assault must be respected, investigated with full transparency and without censorship,” Steve added. “The voices of women need to be heard and respected, not censored nor dictated to.”

Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, and Novak Djokovic are amount the tennis players who are speaking out so far. Read their statements below:

Serena: “I am devastated and shocked to hear about the news of my peer, Peng Shuai. I hope she is safe and found as soon as possible. This must be investigated and we must not stay silent. Sending love to her and her family during this incredibly difficult time. #whereispengshuai.”

Naomi: “Hey everyone, not sure if you’ve been following the news but I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player that has gone missing shortly after revealing that she has been sexually abused. Censorship is never OK at any cost, I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and OK. I’m in shock of the current situation and I’m sending love and light her way.”

Novak: “I don’t have much information about it. I did hear about it a week ago. Honestly, it’s shocking that she’s missing, more so that it’s someone that I have seen on the tour in the previous years quite a few times. It’s not much more to say than hope that she will be found, that she’s OK. It’s just terrible. I can imagine just how her family feels that she’s missing.”

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Peng Shuai

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