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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs