Chapter 235 - Negative Press

Jiao fans realized that Jiaojiao was trending again after previously being ranked when her boyfriend's identity was revealed.

This time, she was trending because she pushed a pregnant woman due to a personal grudge. Even though the person had stated that nothing ended up happening to the pregnant woman, this was a terrible act.

This was a classic example of how not to behave.

It all started from a passer-by who uploaded a video saying that he witnessed an argument at a Japanese restaurant, and the person involved was the up and rising female celebrity, Xu Jiaojiao.

From the perspective of the video recording, it was indeed taken by a passer-by as the video started from the point where the pregnant lady on the floor was chastising Xu Jiaojiao.

A video like this, at first glance, had others making their verdicts that Xu Jiaojiao had indeed pushed the pregnant woman. If the pregnant woman had no affiliation with Xu Jiaojiao at all, her fans could still defend her by saying that it was a racketeer. However, from the dialogues in the recording, the pregnant woman, her friend and Xu Jiaojiao were high school classmates and they used to hang out too.

Moreover, Xu Jiaojiao was too indifferent to her pregnant classmate who was on the ground. It was as though she was a cold-blooded person who didn't care what happened to the latter.

Promptly after, a more comprehensive video was uploaded on the Weibo account of the classmate who was in the passer-by's recording. It included the argument from the start all the way until the ending results, but some still noticed a middle segment was cut off; that was the part of the clip showing how Xu Jiaojiao had pushed her pregnant high school classmate onto the ground.

But the larger majority were Internet users who believed in ‘seeing the truth’. They felt that Xu Jiaojiao had pushed the pregnant lady. She had the motive and the result was blatant; no one cared about the in-between.

Instantly, netizens flooded Jiaojiao's Weibo with malicious comments and abusive words. As there was ‘concrete evidence’, many of Xu Jiaojiao's fans had turned into her haters. Their disdain towards her was equivalent to their previous love towards her; they felt cheated.

A particular unknown starlet even uploaded photos of herself visiting the old folks' home and orphanage, using this as an opportunity to gain some attention.

In addition, some seniors in the industry have posted their views on the issue on their public accounts, warning newcomers to not be fixated on climbing to their peak but rather place emphasis on their character.

Even the central authority had issued a memo to crack down on the lifestyles of public figures, cultivate idols with a positive and healthy influence, and put an end to uncivilized pretentious idols.

It felt as though the whole country was criticizing Xu Jiaojiao.

Cen Jin called Gu Zhou immediately when he got hold of the news.

"A'Zhou, should we quickly cast a new female lead? Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to get back the money that you invested."

"Let’s wait and see."

"Why do we have to wait? If we wait any longer, it would be too late for our film." If that was the case, then the film would be late for the test screening. This partially artistic film was shot for the trophy. It would be a huge loss if the film couldn't make it in time for the judging or even pass the first round of screening because of the cast. It would be better to reshoot the film with a new cast.

"I believe that Jiaojiao is not that kind of person."

Cen Jin pulled his hair in frustration and exclaimed, "Are you able to contact her now? Even her manager has no idea of her whereabouts, doesn't that mean she is trying to lay low now? The main issue here is not whether she is such a person, but everyone thinks that she is such a person. The emphasis, everyone! Even the higher authorities have publicised that they would shelf her."

There was no turning back!

On the other end of the line, Gu Zhou was uncertain too. Indeed, he wasn't able to get hold of Jiaojiao despite the fact that he believed she wouldn't do such a thing. He even suspected that the key to breaking through her tough circumstances was the portion that was edited out of the recording. But now, he couldn't even contact her and didn't know the situation on her end.

However, he still wanted to wait for a little while more. Jiaojiao's boyfriend wasn't a nobody; there was no way he would sit by and watch.

As the saying goes: ‘Some rejoice as others grieve’. Some people were particularly glad to see Xu Jiaojiao being trampled by all the online comments.

An example would be Liang Shuangyi.

But as soon as she arrived at the mall and was about to start shopping in celebration, she was called back to Wei Family's main residence.

"Grandfather, Grandmother, Father, Mother, Wei Yang," Liang Shuangyi was stunned to see every family member was gathered in the living room. Her heart dropped when she saw the foul expression on everyone's face.

"Come and take a seat," said Grandfather Wei, the patriarch of the family.

Liang Shuangyi sat down beside Wei Yang. Feeling uneasy, she questioned him with her eyes, "What's going on?" but Wei Yang didn't spare her a single glance.

"Shuangyi, do you still remember what your mother-in-law told you two days ago?" Grandfather Wei asked.

"Two days ago?" Liang Shuangyi looked at Mrs Wei but saw the latter's sour expression and disappointment.

Two days ago… Mother-in-law only warned me to not find trouble with Xu Jiaojiao— Wait! Xu Jiaojiao?

"I didn't upload anything that was related to Xu Jiaojiao." Liang Shuangyi was not stupid. Remembering her mother-in-law's stern words that day, and coupling it with everyone's expression, she knew that she was called here today to be interrogated about the controversy surrounding Xu Jiaojiao.

But she didn't ask anyone to upload anything so they shouldn't fault her for this!

"Take a look! Your best friend is going all out to help you!" Mrs Wei threw the handphone over. Her blood was boiling. She had warned that girl, Shu Ya, repeatedly to delete the recording that day. Ha, not only was it not deleted, it was even edited and uploaded online. She had no idea if Shu Ya was her daughter-in-law's friend or foe.

Liang Shuangyi caught the phone in a panic and swiped at the screen. It didn't even take two seconds before she exclaimed, "Shu Ya?"

"How can it be her? Mother, didn't you ask her to delete it at the hospital that day?" Liang Shuangyi lifted her head to look at Mrs Wei.

"She's the only one who has the full recording. Who would be if it isn't her? You?"

"No no no no, it's definitely not me. I didn't contact Shu Ya for the past two days," Liang Shuangyi hurriedly defended herself.

"If it wasn't for you, why would your friend release such a video. You are the one who has a grudge with Xu Jiaojiao. How would she dare to upload it without your orders? I warned her that day that the circulation of this video would affect you. Isn't she your best friend? How dare she still upload the video after I have stated it so explicitly?" Mrs Wei was furious.

Mrs. Wei didn’t suspect that her daughter-in-law would feign compliance while acting in opposition. But look at what kind of good friend she made!

"Regardless whether the video was uploaded, this all started with you, you have to bear the consequences," said Wei Yang's father.

"I only wanted to avenge Wei Yang," said Liang Shuangyi aggrievedly.

Wei Yang turned to look at her before looking at the family's patriarch, "Grandfather, we don't have any business dealings with him, and our business is well established in this area for years, why do we have to be afraid of him, an outsider?"

By ‘him’, Wei Yang meant the man beside Xu Jiaojiao.

As to why he called Shen Zhining an outsider, it was due to the fact that Shen Corporation's businesses are mostly based abroad.

"That's because you know too little," Grandfather Wei replied placidly.

Wei Yang was at a loss for words.

"Even Mr Liang from the Chamber of Commerce has to show him due respect. Wei Xian, you know how powerful Mr Liang's backing is." Wei Xian was Wei Yang's father.

Wei Xian nodded. If Mr Liang didn't have a powerful figure backing him, no one would look up to him, neither would his banquet invitation be highly regarded.

"No matter the industry or the path, another friend is another connection, this is the rule. It doesn't mean that everyone must be a friend but at least they shouldn't be a foe. But now," Grandfather Wei looked at Liang Shuangyi, "Because of your actions, you have forced us onto the opposing end. Do you know the consequences we will be facing?"

"Father, there is still a chance for us to salvage this," Wei Xian responded.

"Oh? Tell me about it," Grandfather Wei was all ears.

Wei Xian looked at Liang Shuangyi and asked sternly, "Shuangyi, answer me honestly. Did she push you or did you fall down yourself?"

With so many pairs of eyes staring at her and under such an oppressive atmosphere, Liang Shuangyi didn't dare to lie and answered meekly, "I fell down myself."

"So it's true indeed that the middle portion of the video has been edited away. As long as you upload the original video under your name and make a public apology to resolve everyone's misunderstanding towards that female starlet, I think she will probably not harp on this as well," said Wei Xian.

Liang Shuangyi was stunned. Her heart felt uncomfortable but looking at current circumstances, she could only hold it in. "I don't have the video recording."

"Then go and get it from your friend!" Mrs Wei impatiently snapped with a resentful look.

Liang Shuangyi bit down on her lips, took out her phone and called Shu Ya.

"Shu Ya, why did you upload that video?" She interrogated instantly.

"Shuangyi, I didn't upload that video. My account was hacked and I am still unable to retrieve my account to change the password," Shu Ya's voice was tainted with urgency.

"Then send me the original unedited video and let me have a look."

"That video was deleted two days ago."

Liang Shuangyi's eyes widened, "Don't lie to me, Shu Ya. If you have deleted it then how did you upload the video onto Weibo?"

"I really didn't lie to you. I personally deleted that video. Prior to and after that, I have never uploaded any video."

After hanging up the call, Liang Shuangyi was still in a daze. If it was indeed Shu Ya's doing, there was no reason for her to hide it from me.

"What? The original video was deleted?" Mrs Wei stared at Liang Shuangyi.

Liang Shuangyi nodded and said, "Shu Ya said that her account was hacked."

"Hacked? Even if it was hacked, can't she retrieve it?"

"She said she did, but someone changed the password and took over her account right away."

Wei Xian said, "Regardless if that’s the truth, you shall go online and post a public apology. Be sure to show your sincerity in admitting your wrongdoings."

"Yes, attitude is very important. If you were clearly in the wrong but show no signs of repentance, the other party will get even more furious," Grandfather Wei concurred.

Liang Shuangyi felt extremely aggrieved. She didn't want to apologise to Xu Jiaojiao at all, not even the slightest bit!

Seeing the unwillingness on her face, Grandfather Wei continued, "If we suffer undesirable consequences from this incident, I will consider Wei Ling for the position of general manager at the branch office."

Wei Xian and his wife were peeved. Wei Ling was Grandfather Wei's son from his ex-wife and had been living with her.

"Old man…" Grandmother Wei who had been silent parted her lips.

"Alright, say no more. Do what you deem fit. The business that I started with my two hands must not suffer any losses," Grandfather Wei said firmly.

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xYuna's Thoughts

TL: Cosy | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace