the billionaire founding father of Chinese language e-commerce large
settled a lawsuit filed towards him by a former pupil on the College of Minnesota, ending a authorized battle that had attracted widespread consideration in China.
The settlement to settle got here on Saturday, two days earlier than a jury in Minneapolis was set to listen to testimony to find out whether or not Mr. Liu raped the coed,
in 2018. Opening statements had been scheduled for Monday. Each Mr. Liu, who’s in his late 40s, and Ms. Liu, now 25 years previous, had been anticipated to testify on the civil trial.
Round noon on Sunday in China, JD.com launched what it described as a joint assertion from the events, saying that that they had agreed to settle the lawsuit and “put aside their variations.”
“The incident between Ms. Jingyao Liu and Mr. Richard Liu in Minnesota in 2018 resulted in a misunderstanding that has consumed substantial public consideration and introduced profound struggling to the events and their households,” the assertion learn. Phrases of the settlement weren’t disclosed.
Ms. Liu’s attorneys launched an identically worded assertion, including that Ms. Liu wouldn’t remark additional.
Mr. Liu launched a separate assertion in his personal identify, through which he apologized and expressed hope that his life and his work might return to regular as rapidly as potential. Within the assertion, Mr. Liu straight addressed his spouse, Zhang Zetian, who’s a outstanding determine on Chinese language social media, thanking her for her assist and forbearance. “With out her, I might not be capable of survive to at the present time,” Mr. Liu wrote. “I want everybody a greater tomorrow!”
In August 2018, Ms. Liu alleged that Mr. Liu, a expertise billionaire who’s amongst China’s most outstanding businessmen, groped her whereas escorting her residence and raped her in her condo after each attended an alcohol-laden group dinner at a Minneapolis restaurant. The 2 aren’t associated.
At the moment, Mr. Liu was attending an govt program on the College of Minnesota whereas Ms. Liu, an undergraduate pupil, was volunteering for this system. Mr. Liu’s firm JD.com was additionally named as a defendant within the lawsuit.
Mr. Liu was arrested on the night of Aug. 31, 2018, in Minneapolis on suspicion of rape. He was launched the subsequent day. Mr. Liu has denied all wrongdoing and maintains the intercourse was consensual.
Ms. Liu filed a civil go well with after Minneapolis prosecutors in 2018 declined to criminally cost Mr. Liu, citing inadequate proof.
If Ms. Liu had prevailed in convincing the jury, it might have awarded her each compensatory damages overlaying bills equivalent to medical and counseling payments, and punitive damages, that are designed to punish a defendant for egregious misconduct.
Mr. Liu had largely retreated from public view. He stepped again from each day involvement at his e-commerce large late final 12 months and, in April of this 12 months, Mr. Liu stepped down as chief govt officer.
—Qianwei Zhang contributed to this text.
Write to Rebecca Feng at firstname.lastname@example.org
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