From a FT review of China Watcher: Confessions of a Peking Tom by Richard Baum:
One of the best stories [in the book] concerns the actress Shirley MacLaine, who was seated near Deng Xiaoping at a 1979 banquet. She explained to Deng how impressed she had been during a trip to China when she had met a Chinese scientist. He had told her how grateful he was to Mao for banishing him from his ivory tower and sending him to the countryside to learn about ordinary people and grow cabbages. “Deng, ever the polite listener, looked her squarely in the eye and said earnestly, ‘He was lying.’”
And the resulting disallusionment sent Shirley on to adventures in channeling.