China's famous movie director Zhang Yimou has been hiding his three children for years to avoid detection under China's one-child policy. Now that photos have come out proving his children's existence, he may have to pay a very steep price for his violations.

China's one-child policy dictates that people have to get permission to have a child and that they can only have one child for each couple. There are exceptions allowed for rural families, minority ethnic groups, and Chinese living abroad. But for the majority of Chinese citizens, this is the rule they have had to live by.

Zhang is one of China's top directors, having directed such world famous movies as Judou, Red Lantern, Curse of the Golden Flower, Flowers of War, as well as the production for the Beijing Olympics. Entertainment media have for years reported on his love affairs, such as the long-ago affair with famous actress Gong Li. However, even though there were rumors of Zhang having married in recent years, there have been no photos of his wife. Zhang himself never confirmed or denied her existence.

Photos started leaking along with rampant rumors in mid-2013 until Zhang finally came out to confirm and explain the truth recently. It turned out that Zhang has kept his wife, Chen Ting, away from the paparazzi and out of the limelight. Furthermore, they have three children despite the government's stern one-child policy. Ever since the revelation of the photos, he tried to deny them at first but eventually admitted the existence of his children, two boys and one girl, who were born in 2001, 2004 and 2006. Zhang and his wife did not officially marry until 2011 fearing the children would be exposed. Zhang apologized for the violations and said he would be willing to pay a monetary penalty which could be 7 million yuan (or almost 1.2 million in US dollars.)

Despite the fact that China is relaxing its one-child policy and allowing couples to have up to two children, Zhang Yimou will probably still have to pay a fine for his three children. Hopefully someday Chinese people will be able to decide for themselves how many children they would like to have.