Wendi Deng Murdoch

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Wendi Deng Murdoch
Wendi Murdoch 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Wendi Deng Murdoch at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival
Deng Wenge (邓文革)

(1968-12-08) December 8, 1968 (age 50)
Jinan, Shandong, China
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
Alma materCalifornia State University at Northridge
Yale University
OccupationBusinesswoman, film producer
Jake Cherry
(m. 1990; div. 1991)

Rupert Murdoch
(m. 1999; div. 2013)

Wendi Deng Murdoch (simplified Chinese: 邓文迪; traditional Chinese: 鄧文迪; pinyin: Dèng Wéndí; born December 8, 1968)[3] is a Chinese-American businesswoman, and movie producer. She was the third wife of News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, who filed for divorce from her in June 2013.[4] Deng's debut in the media came with Fox TV, and she was subsequently offered an internship at Star TV in Hong Kong, part of News Corporation.

Early life[edit]

Wendi Deng Murdoch was born in Jinan, Shandong, and was raised in Xuzhou, Jiangsu. Her birth name was Deng Wenge (simplified Chinese: 邓文革; traditional Chinese: 鄧文革; pinyin: Dèng Wéngé),[5] Wenge meaning "cultural revolution."[6] She changed it in her teens.[7][5][8] She attended Xuzhou First Secondary School (a.k.a. Xuzhou No.1 Middle School). She developed an interest in playing volleyball. While she was in high school, her father relocated to Guangzhou, where he worked at the People's Machinery Works; she and her family remained behind for a short while.

In 1987, she met an American businessman and his wife, Jake and Joyce Cherry, who had temporarily relocated to China and helped build a refrigerator factory. She learned English skills from Joyce. In 1988, she abandoned her medical studies and traveled to the United States on a study permit, with Jake and Joyce Cherry sponsoring her student visa and providing shelter[9] (Jake later became Deng's first husband). She enrolled at California State University, Northridge, where she studied economics and was among the top scoring students.[9][10] She obtained BA in Economics from California State University at Northridge and an MBA from the Yale University.

Career and public profile[edit]

Upon graduation from Yale, Deng began searching for a job. She met Bruce Churchill through a mutual friend. At that time, Churchill oversaw finance and corporate development at the Fox TV branch in Los Angeles. He subsequently offered Deng an internship at News Corp subsidiary Star TV in Hong Kong, which developed into a full-time junior executive position. Though a junior employee,[11] she took a role in working to plan Star TV's operations in Hong Kong and China and helped to build up Chinese distribution for Star's Channel V music channel. Additionally, she investigated interactive TV opportunities for News Digital Systems.

Deng was a director for the holding company that licensed the MySpace brand and technology to MySpace China and chief of strategy for MySpace's China operation, prior to the company's sale to Specific Media in June 2011.[12][13] Previously she had been a junior executive at News Corp's Star TV in Hong Kong in 1999. Deng led Murdoch's Chinese internet investments totaling between $35 million and $45 million and helped form business links with China for high-speed video and internet access.[14]

In 2011, Deng made her film producer debut with the release of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, a movie about two footbound children in Qing dynasty China.[15][16]

On July 19, 2011, Deng counter-attacked Jonathan May-Bowles (comedian Jonnie Marbles) after he attempted to throw a pie at her husband while he was giving testimony before a British parliamentary committee considering the News International phone hacking scandal.[17] May-Bowles was subsequently sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Husband Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng in 2011

When Deng was living with Jake and Joyce Cherry during Deng's studies in the United States, Joyce Cherry discovered her husband, Jake, was having an affair with Deng, who was 30 years his junior, and demanded Deng leave the house. Jake Cherry soon followed and moved in with Deng,[9] and the two married in 1990.[19] Their marriage lasted 2 years 7 months before they were legally divorced,[9] but Jake would later explain they stayed together for only four or five months, when he learned that Deng was spending time with David Wolf, a man closer to her age.[19] Nonetheless, she had been able to secure a green card through her marriage to Cherry.[19][9]

In 1997, she met Rupert Murdoch, who is 37 years her senior, while working as an executive at the Murdoch-owned Star TV in Hong Kong.[20] They married in 1999[citation needed] on board his yacht "Morning Glory",[21] less than three weeks after the finalisation of his divorce from his second wife, Anna Murdoch. Following the marriage, she was branded a "gold digger" by sources close to Murdoch, including family members.[22][23] The couple had two children, Grace (born 2001) and Chloe (born 2003). Tony Blair is Grace Murdoch's godfather.[24] In June 2013, Murdoch filed for divorce from Deng, citing irreconcilable differences.[4]

On February 5, 2014, The Daily Telegraph published a report claiming Deng had a crush on Tony Blair, leading to her divorce from Murdoch. The report stated that Murdoch began to hear rumours about his wife in 2012 and is said to have interviewed staff members at his various homes to ask them what they had seen. According to the newspaper, Murdoch learned that Blair had visited Deng at Murdoch's Carmel ranch on more than one occasion. Blair allegedly spent the weekend of April 27, 2013, with Deng at the property. Other sources are quoted as placing Blair and Deng at The Carlyle in New York, on a private yacht, and at Murdoch's home in London.[25] An article in The Economist claimed that as a result of Murdoch's suspicion that Blair had an affair with Deng, he ended his long-standing association with Blair in 2014.[26]

In early 2018, The Wall Street Journal, a newspaper owned by Murdoch's News Corp, published a story suggesting that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump[27], close acquaintances of Deng, were warned by US intelligence agencies that Deng may be working as a Chinese spy.[28][29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rupert Murdoch and His Family". International Business Times. July 9, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  2. ^ Hillman, Sir William Arbuthnot and Charles. "Murdoch family genealogy".
  3. ^ Lewis, Hilary. "Happy Belated Birthday, Wendi Deng!". Business Insider.
  4. ^ a b "Rupert Murdoch files for divorce from Wendi Deng", BBC News, June 13, 2013
  5. ^ a b Ellis, Eric (June 2007). "Wendi Deng Murdoch – A Life". The Monthly. pp. 28–40.
  6. ^ Ellis, By Eric. "Behind Wendi Deng's billion-dollar spike".
  7. ^ Jonathan Watts (July 20, 2011). "Wendi Deng hailed in China for defending Rupert Murdoch". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "Rupert Murdoch's Wife Wendi Wields Influence at NewsCorp". The Wall Street Journal. November 2, 2000. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d e Steve Fishman (September 11, 2005). "The Boy Who Wouldn't Be King". New York. New York Media. p. 5. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  10. ^ "Wendi Deng: Heiress Apparent?". The Asia Magazine. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  11. ^ Lippman, John. "Rupert Murdoch's Wife Wendi Wields Influence at News Corp". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  12. ^ Fixmer, Andy (June 29, 2011). "News Corp. Calls Quits on Myspace With Specific Media Sale". Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "Wendi Murdoch to work with MySpace". China Economic Review. July 4, 2007. Archived from the original on May 19, 2008. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  14. ^ "Who is Wendi Murdoch?". The Guardian. London. November 5, 2000. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  15. ^ Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Fox Searchlight Pictures. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  16. ^ "Interview of Wendi Deng Murdoch for Swan Flower and the Secret Fan". The Charlie Rose Show. August 25, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  17. ^ John Plunkett and Jane Martinson "Rupert Murdoch attacked at phone-hacking hearing", The Guardian, July 19, 2011
  18. ^ "CC Murdoch pie thrower reportedly blogging from prison". This Just In. CNN. August 16, 2011.
  19. ^ a b c Leonard, Tom (November 2, 2000). "How Murdoch's wife won her ticket to America". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  20. ^ Roy, Rob Haskell, Norman Jean. "Wendi Murdoch Is Nothing Less Than a Force of Nature".
  21. ^ Golfar, Fiona (June 14, 2013). "The Vogue Interview: Wendi Deng". Vogue. Retrieved April 10, 2015  Pictures by Patrick Demarchelier
  22. ^ Anthony, Andrew (February 8, 2014). "Wendi Deng: dizzying rise of the Shanghai star" – via The Guardian.
  23. ^ Seal, Mark. "Read Wendi Deng Murdoch's Mash Note Allegedly About Tony Blair: "He Has Such Good Body"".
  24. ^ "Rupert Murdoch in rift with Tony Blair over claims of 'multiple' encounters with ex-wife Wendi Deng". The Daily Telegraph. 24 Nov 2013.
  25. ^ Singh, Anita (February 5, 2014). "Wendi Deng's 'love note for Tony Blair' published". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  26. ^ "Life after power: The loneliness of Tony Blair". The Economist.
  27. ^ Monica Hunter-Hart (May 31, 2018). "Who Is Ivanka Trump's Best Friend? It's Reportedly Another Powerful Businesswoman". Bustle.com. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  28. ^ O'Keefe, Kate (15 January 2018). "U.S. Warned Jared Kushner About Wendi Deng Murdoch". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  29. ^ Lockie, Alex (16 January 2018). "Jared Kushner reportedly was warned that his close friend Wendi Deng Murdoch may be a Chinese spy". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 January 2018.

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