Martial arts legend Jet Li’s manager has defended the star after a new photo of him looking unrecognisable sparked concerns for his health.
A photo circulating widely online yesterday showed Li posing with a fan at a temple in Tibet and looking much older than his 55 years. With his glasses, grey hair and hunched physique, the star was totally unrecognisable from roles in films like Romeo Must Die and Lethal Weapon 4.
While Li’s health problems in recent years have been well-documented, his manager has spoken out about the new photo, telling USA Today his client is “completely fine”.
“We appreciate everyone’s concern,” Li’s manager, Steven Chasman, told the publication.
“There’s nothing wrong with him. There’s no life-threatening illness. He’s in great shape.”
Mr. Chasman insisted it was nothing more than an unflattering photo.
“If you took a picture of me at the wrong angle and wrong time of the day, I could look frail as well.”
Li revealed in 2013 he was suffering from a slew of health issues, including hyperthyroidism, spinal problems and a heart condition. He was first diagnosed with an overactive thyroid in 2010 and took medication to control it.
“Either [I] continue making [action] films or spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair,” Li revealed at the time, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Serious injuries he previously suffered to his legs and spine also affected his movement. He said he couldn’t stand for a prolonged period of time without hunching.