Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Pic: AP.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities say film director Zhang Yimou and his wife have paid more than $1.2 million in fines for having three children in violation of China’s strict family-planning rules.

A district of the eastern city of Wuxi said in an online notice that its family planning office on Friday received one lump-sum payment from Zhang and Chen Ting for the hefty fine.

Rumors became public last year that Zhang fathered more children than allowed by China’s family-size policy that limits most urban families like his to one child. He agreed in December to cooperate with a government investigation.

Zhang is one of China’s best-known directors with films such as “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers.” He also designed the opulent opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.