Fox Chief Rupert Murdoch Is Divorcing Wife Wendi Deng, Who Famously Defended Him From Pie-Throwing Protester

on June 13 2013 12:39 PM
Wendi Deng
Twitter apologized Tuesday for mistakenly verifying what was a fake account for Wendi Deng Murdoch, wife of News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, reports Reuters. Reuters

Rupert Murdoch filed for divorce Thursday.

Just weeks before his News Corp. (Nasdaq:NWSA) splits into two separate companies, the 82-year-old media baron is splitting with his 44-year-old wife Wendi Deng Murdoch, a News Corp. spokesman told International Business Times. Murdoch filed for divorce in New York Supreme Court on Thursday.

The news was first broken by Nikki Finke's Hollywood news site Deadline.

Deng, who was born in China, is Murdoch’s third wife, the two met at a company party in Hong Kong 16 years ago. They married in 1999, less than three weeks after Murdoch finalized his divorce from Anna Maria Torv Murdoch Mann. The couple has two daughters, Chloe and Grace.

Deng was best known for defending her husband against Jonathan May-Bowles, who tried to throw a shaving-cream pie in Murdoch’s face during a British parliamentary hearing on the News International phone hacking scandal.

The spokesman said it would not interfere with the planned split of News Corp. later this month.

The reasons for the divorce remain unclear, though an interview last July with Ying-shu Hsu, a former nanny for the Murdochs, revealed the couple's divergent personalities. 

"Murdoch is a gentleman," Hsu told Gawker's John Cook. "He appreciated us at the end of the night. But she also curses Rupert all the time. A lot of F-words. She's always yelling, crying. Murdoch is the calm type."

Hsu also detailed a screaming match between the Murdochs, when they spent the entire evening of Christmas 2004 arguing over the family's trust.

In interviews, she comes across as notably Type-A, touting the discipline she learned growing up poor in rural China and telling British Vogue that she know she has an "extraordinary life."

But, in the same Vogue interview, she hinted her octogenarian husband remained a guiding force in her life.

"Rupert thinks I have a good head on my shoulders," she said. "Whatever I do he is very involved in."

That would appear to no longer be the case.

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