Chinese director Zhang Yimou is ready to accept the consequences of breaking the country's strict 'one-child' policy after confessing to fathering three kids with his current wife.
The Flowers of War filmmaker owned up to the legal violation earlier this month (Dec13) and in a new joint interview with his wife, Chen Ting, he insists he is open to paying a hefty fine to make amends for his actions.
He tells state news agency Xinhua, "As a public figure, I and my wife must assist the sweeping investigations by the family planning authorities and also are willing to make a public apology."
However, Zhang claims they never meant any harm and simply wanted to have a more traditional family life: "My father told me prior to his death that he hoped I could have a son to continue the family line and my mother also believed that with more children, they could have more companions."
Authorities investigating the case sent Zhang a letter on Saturday (28Dec13), outlining the details of his monetary punishment, a "social compensation fee" which is based on the household's annual income. He is said to have earned $590,000 (£393,330) a year around the time each of his children were born, which could amount to a fine of $1.2 million (£800,000).
Meanwhile, Zhang is also facing a $164 million (£109.3 million) lawsuit from two attorneys who have decided to take action against the director themselves, despite having no official connection to the case.
Jia Fangyi and Guo Chengxi decided to sue earlier this month (Dec13) as part of a protest against wealthy Chinese citizens who willingly break the rules.
The Chinese government introduced the family planning policy in 1979 to prevent population growth spiralling out of control.
However, the legislation, which has long been opposed by human rights activists and religious groups, is only now being re-evaluated as the nation faces an ageing population.
Politicians approved a motion to ease the one-child policy this week (ends27Dec13) as part of a reform package, which would allow couples where either parent has no siblings to have two kids.