Rupert Murdoch Files For Divorce
(CNN) – It’s another slap heard around the world.
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch filed for divorce from his third wife Wendi — who made waves for defending her husband during a 2011 parliamentary hearing over the notorious phone hacking scandal.
Wendi Deng — Chinese born, Yale-educated and very dignified — lunged at a man who thrust a shaving foam pie at Murdoch. She smashed the assaulter’s hand with her own.
In the parliamentary chamber, the previously tense mood seemed to soften after the incident. One lawmaker who had been particularly critical only minutes earlier, said, “Mr. Murdoch, your wife has a very good left hook.”
The incident — dubbed the slap heard around the world — set off a social media prairie fire.
On Twitter, #Wendi became a trending topic, and admiration flowed from stars and regular folks alike. Russell Simmons tweeted, “When I saw Wendi Murdoch last week in NYC, she told me she had to go to London to take ‘care of her man’ … now I see what she meant.””
An unabashed use of ethnic stereotypes was mixed in with the rest of the praise.
The unfortunate phrase “Crouching Wendi: Hidden Tiger” cropped up in a CNN.com article reporting that microbloggers in China saluted Deng and referred to her as a Tiger mom.
Former CBS News anchor Katie Couric wrote, “Wow, Wendi Murdoch giving whole new meaning to the term tiger mother…insanity!”
After her 1999 marriage to Murdoch, Deng stepped down from her executive role at a News Corp. subsidiary in Hong Kong and cultivated an image as a glamorous housewife and doting mother.
She also developed a reputation as a shrewd businesswoman who held great influence over News Corp’s investments in Asia.
A 2000 Wall Street Journal profile reported that Deng frequently accompanied her husband and stepson to meetings with high-ranking Chinese officials, where she would sometimes intervene “to smooth over potentially awkward situations.”
And in recent years, she stood by her husband throughout the controversy surrounding the phone hacking of celebrities, politicians, victims of crime and others by people working for Murdoch’s tabloids in the United Kingdom.
It is unclear what prompted the split between the 82-year-old Murdoch and his wife. The news comes days after his company announced approval of its own split,
News Corp announced last summer that it planned to split its operations into two publicly traded companies. Murdoch, the company’s largest shareholder, will remain chairman of both companies.
On Tuesday, News Corp shareholders approved the split of the company into two publicly traded companies, one for its newspapers and book publishing business, the other for its television and film properties. The split is expected to be final later this month.
Murdoch has been compared to William Randolph Hearst, who is often considered the founder of tabloid-style journalism. He’s the founder of News Corporation, Ltd., which has holdings in cable, film, television, internet, direct broadcast satellite television, sports, publishing and other fields.
Murdoch’s net worth was most recently estimated to be worth $11.2 billion putting him in the top 100 of the world’s richest people, according to Forbes’ 2013 World’s Billionaires list.
By Joe Sterling
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