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Bernard Boursicot
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    (1944- )
    Born in France
    Served on the staff of the French embassy in Beijing, China (1964-66,1969-72) and Ulan Bator, Mongolia (1977-79)
    Had an affair with opera singer Shi Pei-Pu, believing him to be a woman
    Passed 150 classified documents to Shi
    Sentenced to six years for espionage (1986)
    Pardoned one year later
    Affair with Shi inspired the Tony award winning play 'M. Butterfly' (1988)
    He had a 20-year affair, including occasional sex, with Shi without ever figuring out he was man.
    During the Cultural Revolution, he passed documents to the Chinese secret service in return for access to Shi.
    After being informed of Shi's true gender following their arrest, he tried to cut his throat in prison.
    He is a fan of 'M. Butterfly' even though the character based on him is not portrayed in a positive light.
    He said of the affair, 'When I believed it, it was a beautiful story.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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