Movie star's colleague denies urging woman to drop complaint


The colleague of a Chinese movie star and his producer who are accused of raping a woman in a Sydney hotel room has denied offering the woman money to drop her complaint against the men.

Actor Yunxiang Gao and Jing Wang, both 37, are facing trial in the NSW District Court after denying claims they jointly and repeatedly sexually assaulted the woman at the Shangri La Hotel in The Rocks in the early hours of March 27 last year.

Chinese actor Yunxiang Gao enters the Downing Centre court on Wednesday morning.

Si Qi Li, who worked on the Sydney set of television show Love in Aranya in early 2018, told a jury that she had later approached the woman, who was professionally connected to the men, at a restaurant and asked her what had happened but received no answer.

"There was still no response from her and I said, 'Do you know this might cause a lot of trouble for the shooting crew and Mr Gaos family? So I really want to know what happened last night'," Ms Li said in the witness box before judge Penelope Hock.

She said the woman replied that she couldn't tell her what happened "because of my family".

"I also asked her if there are other ways to settle this thing?" Ms Li said, adding the woman raised her voice and replied, "I dont need money, I have enough of it".

Crown prosecutor Sean Hughes suggested to Ms Li, who was giving evidence for the defence, that she was hinting to the woman that money could solve the problem, to which she replied, "That was not so".

Mr Hughes said, "Your purpose in approaching [the woman] at the restaurant was to put pressure on her to drop the charges wasnt it?"

Ms Li denied this.

"You knew it was a public relations disaster," Mr Hughes said.

"All I knew at that time was that the leading actor and the boss of the crew were taken away by the police," she said.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of aggravated sexual assault in company and indecent assault. Mr Wang has also been charged with two further counts of sexual intercourse without consent and attempted sexual intercourse without consent, which he denies.

The alleged victim previously told the jury she consistently refused Mr Wang's advances at a karaoke bar during a party for the television show, which the court heard occurred before the incident in the hotel room.

But Ms Li told the court she saw the pair kissing each other on two separate occasions at the bar, describing them as looking like a "couple, very natural".

Asked by Mr Wang's lawyer, Margaret Cunneen, SC, whether she saw the woman try to push her client away, Ms Li replied, "No".

Asked if the woman appeared distressed or annoyed, she replied, "No".

The trial continues.

Source: https://www.smh.com.au

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