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As long as she pays back that amount, plus almost 600 million yuan in fines, she will avoid criminal prosecution.

Her vanishing act sparked wild speculation in China about her fate, including reports she had been detained.

According to the Xinhua news agency, Fan is personally being fined about £54m of the total amount due for tax evasion. Over the past few months, rumors circulated that Fan had been arrested, that she had been banned from leaving China, that she had been banned from acting for three years, that her production company's offices had been emptied, and even that she had sought asylum in the United States.

The tax bureau in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu delivered its judgment to Fan on Sunday, levying fines of more than 596 million yuan ($86.7 million) for tax evasion and assessing overdue taxes of more than 288 million yuan ($42 million), Xinhua said.

The X-Men star, who was feared to be missing after she hadn't been seen in public since July, has broken her silence following the news, in a lengthy post on Chinese social media site, Weibo.

"I'm ashamed of my behavior and I apologize here to everyone", Fan wrote.

Although Ms Fan denied the accusations and Mr Cui eventually walked back his claims, China's State Administration of Taxation announced shortly after that it was looking into the claims of tax evasion involving celebrities.

The investigation was launched after a CCTV host accused the 37-year-old actress of having signed so-called "yin-yang contracts", wherein she would receive two separate contracts for the same film project, one of which would be reported to authorities, the other would not, thus helping her sidestep millions in taxes. One sentence reads, "Without the policies of the Party and the country, without the love of the people, there is no Fan Bingbing". I would like to apologise to the society, my beloved friends, and the country. I would really like to ask for everyone's forgiveness.

Xinhua said police had put a "restriction" on Fan's agent for attempting to hide and destroy evidence during the investigations in June.

Fan topped Forbes magazine's 2017 list of top-earning Chinese celebrities with income of 300m yuan ($43m).

A statement released by Fan's studio previously said she was the victim of "slander", but did not dispute the authenticity of the documents Cui released.