A public apology by Chinese superstar Wen Zhang to his wife has broken social media records on China's microblogging site Weibo.
The 29-year-old film star expressed regret to his wife, actress Ma Yili, following rumours of his infidelity. In his apology, Wen confessed to making a mistake and for letting his family down.
The couple, who is known for their public displays of affection, are married for six years. According to reports, Ma, 37, was expecting their second child during the affair.
According to reports, Wen posted a statement around midnight on Monday after days of online rumours about his affair with another actress, Yao Di, his co-star from hit 2011 TV series Naked Wedding.
His apology post was shared 1.2 million times by Wednesday and received nearly 1.9 million comments, reported Associated Press.
"I have brought this upon myself...Please accept my heartfelt apology and remorse...My mistake does not deserve to be forgiven and it will be difficult for me to make amends for all the harm I've caused," wrote Wen.
He admitted that his smooth rise to stardom in China had made him arrogant, landing him at a "precarious point today". He apologised for letting down his wife, their two children and everyone else who had high hopes of him.
"Yili and the children could have had a warm, beautiful life but I have wrecked all of this. I don't deserve forgiveness for my wrongdoing and I can hardly make up for the damage I've done, but I want to make up for it, I must make up for it, and this will be my life henceforth," he wrote.
In stark contrast to Wen's lengthy apology, Ma posted a one-line response: "Being in love is easy, being married is not. It is to be cherished."
Xinhua News Agency stated that the combined number of retweets, comments and 'likes' for Wen's public apology is a new record for the Sina Weibo site.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the actor's tweet broke a record set by pop singer Faye Wong in September when she announced on Weibo that she was getting a divorce.
China's social media has been in a frenzy last Friday with millions of netizens sounding off about the extramarital affair. Photos of Wen on a secret tour with Yao to Shenzhen and Hong Kong were circulated on various websites, stated China Daily.
In less than three days, five of the top 10 topics on Weibo were dedicated to the affair, with an estimated user total well past 10 million, said the report.
Website NetEase reported that a paparazzo claimed the secret love affair between Wen and Yao started in July last year, and Yao moved to a place near Wen's a month later.
Despite his apology, many netizens were unimpressed.
"Wen Zhang deceived all of us. He gained popularity by presenting himself as a good man and a good dad. But he has now turned out to be a hypocrite," said one.
"You have been having an affair for a year and never repented. Now you are repentant just a day after you were exposed?" another posted.
There has been no word from Yao so far.