Rupert Murdoch divorces third wife
NEW YORK - News Corp Chief Executive Rupert
Murdoch on Thursday filed for divorce from
his wife of 14 years, Wendi, seeking to end
a marriage that had been irretrievably
broken for more than six months, according
to his spokesman.
Rupert Murdoch (left) and his wife Wendi
Deng arrive on the red carpet during the
opening ceremony of the Shanghai
International Film Festival in Shanghai in
June 11, 2011 (File photo). News Corp
confirmed yesterday that Murdoch has filed
for divorce from his wife Wendi. - AFP
82, married the former Wendi Deng, 44, in
1999 in his third and her second marriage.
They have two young daughters.
The divorce filing, which was sealed, comes
just days before News Corp is to split into
two companies, one containing its
entertainment assets and the other holding
its publishing business. Murdoch, who Forbes
says is worth $9.4 billion, is to be
chairman of both publicly traded companies.
Despite the timing, there is no connection
between the divorce and the corporate split,
said a source close to News Corp who was not
authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Deng could not be reached for comment.
Analysts said the end of the Murdochs’
marriage was unlikely to have an impact on
the media empire. Murdoch and Deng had a
prenuptial agreement, according to a person
familiar with the situation. Their girls,
Grace and Chloe, have stakes in the family
trust that holds the Murdochs’ stake in News
Corp, but they do not have voting rights.
“I doubt it has a substantial impact on the
spin,” Gabelli & Co analyst Brett Harriss
said, referring to the News Corp separation.
“Given that it’s his third wife, I see it
unlikely that he didn’t plan for this
Ira Garr, an attorney listed as representing
Murdoch, said he filed the divorce papers
just after 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) on
Thursday. Garr, who previously represented
Ivana Trump and actor Anthony Quinn’s wife
Yolanda, declined to comment further.
Deng is represented by attorney Pamela
Sloan, chair of the Family Law section of
the New York State Bar Association. Sloan, a
partner of the firm Aronson Mayefsky and
Sloan, did not immediately return a call
Details of the prenuptial agreement were not
known and it was not clear who would move
out of the Murdochs’ apartment in New York
City’s tony Upper East Side.
Murdoch also has four grown children,
Prudence from his first marriage, and
Lachlan, James and Elisabeth from his
second. These four grown children all have
voting rights unlike Murdoch’s two children
with Deng. The family trust owned 38.4
percent of the voting stock in News Corp as
of April 30.
FROM INTERPRETER TO STAR
Deng, the daughter of a factory director in
Guangzhou, China, came to the United States
in 1988 after serving as an interpreter for
a Los Angeles couple working in China. The
couple sponsored her to live with them, and
the husband later left his wife and married
After their brief marriage, Deng went on to
get an MBA from Yale and landed a job at
News Corp’s Star TV as an intern in 1996.
She met Murdoch in 1998, when she was a
junior executive who acted as his
interpreter during a business trip to China.
The pair married shortly after Murdoch
divorced his wife of 31 years, Anna.
Shortly after they married, Rupert Murdoch
said in an interview with Australian
magazine The Monthly that his new wife’s job
was “as a home decorator,” and that she was
not “some business genius about to take over
“She’s intelligent, but she’s not going to
do that,” he said.
Her friends were incensed.
“She didn’t marry him to sit at home and be
a society wife,” one friend told the
His views may have changed, as Deng told
Vogue that “Rupert thinks I have a good
head on my shoulders. Whatever I do he is
very involved in.”
Indeed, Deng has been involved in her
husband’s business in China, putting her
Mandarin language skills to use and bridging
When News Corp still owned Myspace, she gave
strategic advice to that Internet business
in China and pocketed $92,000 in fees in
2010, according to a filing.
But she never had a major role in her
husband’s company, unlike Murdoch’s former
wife Anna Murdoch, who had a position on
News Corp’s board until 1998.
Lately, Deng has pursued her own endeavors
such as co-producing the movie “Snow Flower
and the Secret Fan,” a story set in 19th
century China about the tough cultural norms
imposed on women.
The movie, distributed by News Corp’s Fox
Searchlight in 2011, grossed just over $11
million. Deng has since produced another
film, “Journey of a Thousand Miles,” based
on the memoir of Chinese pianist Lang Lang.
To many people outside the media industry,
Deng is best known for defending her husband
from a foam pie a prankster threw at the
mogul while he was testifying before the
British Parliament over News Corp’s
phone-hacking scandal in July 2011.
More than halfway through the hearing, Deng
suddenly leapt from her seat to intercept
the pie with a furious slap, gaining the
nickname “tiger wife”.
The divorce is bound to be fodder for
tabloid newspapers around the world, though
Murdoch’s own New York Post and The Sun did
not have their own stories on their websites
more than four hours after the news broke.
The Post offered a link to a partner video
"Billionaire News Corp Owner Rupert Murdoch
Divorcing Wife ?3.” Murdoch’s more sedate
Times of London had the story near the top
of its homepage, with the straightforward
“Rupert Murdoch: files for divorce from wife
An early jab came from the media website
Gawker, which offered its best parody of a
“Loveless Body in Pointless Marriage,”
Gawker wrote, using the Post’s typeface
imposed over a picture of Murdoch and Deng.
Murdoch divorces third wife
- Latest - New Straits Times
Friday 14 June 2013