Guo Meimei learned the hard way that social media is not the place to brag about your illegal activities.
CNN is reporting that Guo, 23, posted photos of her wealthy, extravagant lifestyle and her good looks on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter. Guo recently appeared on state television without makeup and in a prison orange jumpsuit to defend herself against charges of running an illegal gambling den and prostitution.
Guo's Sina Weibo account, which has almost two million followers, has pictures of her posing by a jet ski in a bikini and by a Lamborghini. She was also starring in a film about her life called I Am Guo Meimei. Guo invested in the project herself and production began last year. She carelessly posted to her followers, which was what tipped off police about her illicit activities. Last month, she was arrested for breaching China's strict gambling laws after boasting about her winnings from betting on World Cup matches. She also admitted operating an illegal gambling venue at a one-room apartment in Beijing with her ex-boyfriend.
Guo said that she also made money by working as a call girl. She told police she would charge no less than 100,000 yuan ($17,400) for every encounter. "I'm really not short of those who want to keep me as mistress," she said. "There are many who would spend money to sleep with me for a night, no matter the price."
The real furor, however lies in her claim that she works for the Chinese Red Cross as a commercial general manager, according to Business Week. Guo never worked in any capacity for the Red Cross. The hardest part of this whole situation is that Guo was arrested for illegal gambling and prostitution, not for the Red Cross misrepresentation. She was arrested in 2011 for her crimes, but just recently appeared in court.
Guo was almost forgotten save for her court appearance. The hardest part of all was the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that recently hit China last Sunday, which claimed 589 lives. People see the devastation, then see Guo back in the spotlight, claiming association to the Red Cross while surrounding herself by luxury. Many people may not donate when they put this together.
The Red Cross has released a statement to try to raise aid for the victims. "Rescue teams are working through the night, and time is of the essence. So please, forget Guo Meimei." Guo herself has apologized on television, appearing contrite and sullen, for her lie.
"I would like to offer my deep apologies to the Red Cross," she said. "And even deeper apologies to the public and even deeper apologies to the people who have not been rescued. Because of my own vanity, I made a huge mistake."
Let's hope this will be enough for the Chinese Red Cross to get the help they are going to need.