Jet Li‘s manager is speaking out on behalf of his client after a photo showing the action star looking frail and unrecognizable went viral over the weekend, prompting concerns for the 55-year-old’s health.
“He has hyperthyroidism that he’s been dealing with for almost 10 years,” Steven Chasman told the Washington Post Monday. “It’s nothing life-threatening and he’s dealing with it.”
In a snap taken of Li with a fan in Tibet that surfaced Saturday, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the martial art star smiles for the camera but looks weak. The man he poses with uses one of his hands to support the actor’s arms, which he crosses in front of his body.
“Jackie Chan and Jet Li were like Gods to me when I was little. It’s so sad to see Li like this,” one fan wrote on Twitter.
Another added, “Im broken to see him like this.”
Others commented that they did not believe the man in the photo was Li at all.
Li’s manager confirmed to the Washington Post that the photo is indeed of the actor, but that it’s just a bad photo of someone his age. He called coverage of the photo “sensationalism,” according to the outlet.
Jet Li in 2000
Li has not yet commented on the recent photo, but it’s a far cry from shots posted on his Instagram from recent months. In late December, the Romeo Must Die star shared a video wishing his fans happy holidays and good luck in the new year ahead.
The Beijing-born actor revealed in 2013 that he was suffering from hyperthyroidism after being diagnosed in 2010, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I’m in pain, but I’m not suffering. I’m happy,” he said at the time.
The outlet also reported that Li had a heart condition as well as trouble standing for long periods of time due to injuries attained on movie sets to his legs and spine.
Li’s health has come under speculation before. In 2016, he told Singaporean journalists that “even my friends are conceded and are asking how I am” after reports claimed the actor needed a wheelchair due to his illness.
Last month, The Hollywood Reporter exclusively announced that Li was “in final talks to play the emperor of China, who orders the mobilization of troops via the conscription of one male from each household” in Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan.