Curse of Stone spreads to Dior

LAST UPDATED AT 09:06 ON Thu 29 May 2008

The seismic shudder triggered by Sharon Stone's remarks about the Sichuan earthquake – as The First Post reported yesterday, she suggested that it might have been retribution for China's policies in Tibet – has now struck Christian Dior, for whom the actress models. Fearing a retail catastrophe, the Paris fashion house has issued a grovelling apology to the Chinese people for Stone's controversial (and rather batty) remarks. According to reports, photographs of the actress are now being removed from all its Chinese outlets.

The statement read: "We absolutely disagree with her hasty comments and we are also deeply sorry about them... We will never support any opinion that hurts the feelings of the Chinese people." Dior in Paris declined to comment.

Stone, 50, a Buddhist who describes the Dalai Lama as "a good friend", made her remarks at the Cannes film festival last week. She told a Hong Kong TV channel: "And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and I thought, is that karma – when you’re not nice, that the bad things happen to you?"

The comments gained wider attention after the footage was posted on YouTube and similar Chinese video-sharing sites, prompting a wave of indignation among internet users in China. As a result, the owner of UME Cineplex, one of China's biggest urban cinema chains, banned all her films from his cinemas.

The incident is potentially very damaging for Christian Dior, which has made heavy use of images of the actress since she signed in 2005 to be the face of the group's Capture Totale skincare line. Christian Dior has 68 outlets in China, including 11 in the capital.

Meanwhile, Stone attempted to limit the damage by issuing this statement today. "Due to my inappropriate words and acts during the interview, I feel deeply sorry and sad about hurting Chinese people. I am willing to take part in the relief work of China's earthquake, and wholly devote myself to helping affected Chinese people." · 

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