News / Asia

Gu Kailai's Fall from Grace

Gu Kailai, right, stands accused of the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, left.Gu Kailai, right, stands accused of the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, left.
x
Gu Kailai, right, stands accused of the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, left.
Gu Kailai, right, stands accused of the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, left.
Once hailed as the Jackie Kennedy of China, Gu Kailai’s fall from grace is just as dramatic, if not more so, than that of her husband Bo Xilai, a former Communist Party star stripped from power in a political scandal.

The glamorous, intelligent and savvy former lawyer now needs a lawyer of her own as she faces murder charges stemming from the death of British businessman Neil Heywood last November in what Xinhua calls a conflict over "economic interests."

Gu, 53, was once seen as a role model for many Chinese women. She was born to a prominent family but claims to have had to eke out a living in a variety of menial jobs after her family was detained during the Cultural Revolution. She later studied law at the prestigious Peking University.

She met Bo at university in 1984, and married in 1987, the same year Gu began working as a lawyer.

She started her own law firm in 1995, and was perhaps most noted for her involvement in a landmark legal case in the United States where several Dalian, China, firms were involved. Bo was mayor of Dalian at the time.

Ed Byrne, an American lawyer who worked with Gu on the case, recalls her as "smart, charismatic, attractive."

"I was very impressed with her," he said in a BBC television interview.

The BBC, quoting a source close to the family, said Gu shut down the law firm in 2001, when her husband became the Communist Party chief of the megacity Chongqing to deflect any potential allegations that the firm was benefitting from Bo’s position.

The same source speculated that Gu’s health has deteriorated in recent years, saying she rarely left the family house in Chongqing.

Following her success with the U.S. legal case, Gu was able to parlay her notoriety into a book called, “Winning a Lawsuit in the U.S.” Now, her life likely depends on winning a case in China.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
July 28, 2012 5:16 PM
If you have any idea about China, you know that Gu has chance in surviving this.


by: Anonymous
July 28, 2012 4:41 AM
Was she really proven guilty?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid