Wendi Deng and Rupert Murdoch: True Love? [PHOTOS]

 @EllenKilloran
on July 21 2011 3:59 PM
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Wendi Deng Murdoch became an instant international sensation on Tuesday when she acted as a human shield between her husband, Rupert Murdoch, and a shaving cream pie thrown by a protestor at Murdoch's parliamentary hearing. 

With lighting-fast reflexes, Wendi leapt out of her chair and slapped away Rupert's would-be attacker.

The hearing - which the media mogul called the most humble day of my career  - probed the hacking scandal at News Corp, Rupert's publishing empire.

The heroic act has earned his wife the nicknake of Wonder Wendi, with millions worldwide wondering who this woman is.

42 to her husband's 80, Wendi Deng has been married to Rupert Murdoch since 1999 -  they tied the knot just 17 days after his divorce from his wife of 31 years, Anna Mann Murdoch.

Although Rupert and Anna's initial separation was largely due to differences about how much of a role he should continue to play in News Corp as he passed retirement age, Anna believes strongly that Wendi had a lot to do with their permanent split.

I think that Rupert's affair with Wendi Deng -- it's not an original plot -- was the end of the marriage, Anna said. His determination to continue with that. I thought we had a wonderful, happy marriage. Obviously, we didn't.

If Wendi did indeed breakup Murdoch's second marriage, it woud not have been her first time.

Wendi met her first husband, Jake Cherry, as a teenager when he and his family were in China for his work. When it was time for Cherry to return to the United States, Wendi convinced he and his wife to sponsor her as an international student so she could attend college there. The arrangement lasted until Jake's wife realized the two were having an affair and kicked them both out - after Jake confessed that he was in love with Wendi.

Wendi and Jake's subsequent marriage ended after two and half years - she left him when she decided to get an MBA at Yale, apparently claiming that she could not see Jake as any more than a father figure. (Though once source said it was because his modest salary was not enough to pay her tuition and expenses).

Wendi met Rupert Murdoch in China while she was interning at Star TV - one of his businesses. During one of Murdoch's visits there, she was assigned as his translator, and he fell for her very quickly.

In an interview years later, Murdoch said that it took some time to court the young Wendi Deng.

I fell in love with her and I asked her [to marry me]. She said no and it took a long time to persuade her, he said.

Rupert describes Wendi as a very loving, supportive wife.  The couple has two young girls - Grace, 9, and Chloe, 8.

It keeps me younger, Rupert told a friend of having a young family at his stage in life. I love having kids around me, and I have a young wife, and it just seemed a natural thing.

It is easy to see why many have speculated that Wendi may have been something of a gold-digger, but the events of this week seem to have shifted public opinion.

It made me believe, even if just for a second, a Boston Herald reporter wrote, that they just might be a normal-ish family and that she's more than just an international trophy wife with perfect, glossy black hair.

A local woman in Beijing told CNN that the slap heard around the world changed her opinion of Mrs. Murdoch. I used to think Deng only loves Murdoch's money. But her move yesterday was so fast and was kind of instinct... this may actually be true love! the young woman said.

Since their wedding day, Wendi's look and demeanor has dramatically transformed from a plain-looking, demure young wife to a glamorous, outgoing, and feisty woman.

 

Wedding Day

Newly-married couple, News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng pose near the Statue of Liberty. The couple was married on board Murdoch's yacht in New York harbor June 25, 1999. Reuters

Moulin Rouge

Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi arrive at the premiere of "Moulin Rouge" at the Paris theater in New York, April 17, 2001 Reuters

Shanghai

Global media magnate Rupert Murdoch (2nd L), accompanied by his wife Wendi Deng (4th R, background), visits the Shanghai Daily newspaper's editorial centre in Shanghai January 8, 2001. Reuters

NBA Finals

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi Deng sit courtside during Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the [Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers June 8, 2001 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Reuters

Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi Deng arrive for the Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Mortons in West Hollywood February 25, 2007 Reuters

Tennis

Newscorp CEO Rupert Murdoch sits with his wife Wendi Deng as they watch Serena Williams of the U.S. play Flavia Pennetta of Italy during their match at the U.S. Open tennis championship in New York, September 8, 2009 Reuters

Met Costume Gala

News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch (R) looks on as his wife Wendi Deng poses as they arrive for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy" in New York, May 5, 2008. Reuters

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