Chinese #MeToo plaintiff heads back to court

One of the biggest court cases of the #MeToo movement to hit China held another hearing on Tuesday (September 14).

And the woman at the center of the case, Zhou Xiaoxuan, appeared to be emotional as she headed in.

Dozens of uniformed police and plain-clothes security personnel were guarding the site. Zhou told supporters this could be her last time in court in her lawsuit against a prominent state TV host.

She did not elaborate further.

"Lastly i want to say it doesn't matter whether this journey has been pleasant or painful. I'm very honored that you're all here and have been here with me."

In a series of social media posts in 2018, Zhou accused television personality Zhu Jun of groping and forcibly kissing her when she was an intern four years earlier.

Her accusations quickly went viral and she sued Zhu for damages three years ago, but the first hearing of the case was not held until December 2020, also behind close doors.

It was unclear if Zhu was present in the court on Tuesday.

A lawyer for Zhu could not immediately be reached.

Fei is one of Zhou's supporters outside the court:

"So women are still being hunted down, are still prey. The women's rights has not been as well established in China as in Western countries."

China's #MeToo movement took off in 2018 when a college student in Beijing publicly accused her professor of sexual harassment.

It's spread to NGOs, media and other industries.

Discussion of #MeToo was then stifled, but recent extensive coverage in China has largely been without any obvious censorship.

Sexual assault scandals involving tech giant Alibaba and celebrity Kris Wu have also rekindled the topic.

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