Wendi Deng Murdoch

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

(1968-12-05) December 5, 1968 (age 55)
Jinan, Shandong, China
EducationGuangzhou Medical University
California State University, Northridge (BA)
Yale School of Management (MBA)
Jake Cherry
(m. 1990; div. 1993)
(m. 1999; div. 2013)
  • Deng Dehui (father)
  • Liu Xueqin (mother)
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Websitewww.wendimurdoch.com Edit this at Wikidata

Wendi Deng Murdoch (simplified Chinese: 邓文迪; traditional Chinese: 鄧文迪; pinyin: Dèng Wéndí; born Deng Wenge; December 5, 1968) is a Chinese-born American entrepreneur, investor, film producer, and collector of Chinese contemporary art.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Wendi Deng was born in Jinan, Shandong and raised in Xuzhou, Jiangsu.[5] Her birth name was Deng Wenge, (邓文革; 鄧文革),[5][6] Deng, the family name,[7] and Wenge meaning "Cultural Revolution".[5][8][9] She has two older sisters, and a brother,[5][7] and both of her parents were engineers.[5][10] When she was a teen she changed her given name to "Wendi".[11][6][12]

She attended Xuzhou First Secondary School (a.k.a. Xuzhou No.1 Middle School). She became a competitive volleyball player.[13][14] While she was in high school, her father relocated to Guangzhou, where he was a factory director[7] at the People's Machinery Works; she and her family remained in Xuzhou until they joined their father a short time later.[5] In 1985, she was enrolled at the Guangzhou Medical College.[7]

In 1988, she left medical school and went to the United States on a study permit. She enrolled at California State University, Northridge,[15] where she studied economics and was among the top scoring students.[16][17] She obtained a BA in Economics from California State University at Northridge and an MBA from Yale University.[10]

Career and public profile[edit]

Upon graduation from Yale in 1996,[18] Deng met Bruce Churchill. At that time, Churchill oversaw finance and corporate development at the Fox TV branch in Los Angeles. He 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, 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.[7] Within one year, she became a vice president.[10] Additionally, she investigated interactive TV opportunities for News Digital Systems.[7]

Murdoch was an advisor for MySpace's China operation, prior to the company's sale to Specific Media in June 2011.[19][20][21] She led the Murdoch family's Chinese internet investments and helped form business links with China for high-speed video and internet access.[22]

In 2009, Murdoch co-founded the online platform Artsy[23] with Carter Cleveland[24] and Dasha Zhukova,[25] which has since become one of the top online places for buying, viewing and learning about art.[26][10][27] Other investors include Peter Thiel, François Pinault and Eric Schmidt.[25][10] She has invested in tech start-ups including Oscar, Snapchat, Uber and Warby Parker.[24][10]

In 2011, Murdoch co-produced her first film with Florence Sloan,[28] Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, a movie about two footbound children in Qing dynasty China,[29][30] directed by Wayne Wang.[31] The film won the Golden Angel Award at the Chinese American Film Festival.[32] She also produced the Netflix documentary Sky Ladder[33] which showcased the art of Cai Guo-Qiang[34] and directed by Academy Award-winning director Kevin MacDonald.[35] The film premiered in January 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival.[36] Sotheby's hosted a private reception and screening of the film in October 2016 before the film's Netflix debut.[37]

Personal life[edit]

Rupert and Wendi Murdoch in 2011

Jake and Joyce Cherry hosted Deng in their home during her studies in the United States. Later, Jake Cherry left his wife,[16] and married Wendi Deng in 1990.[38] While married to Cherry, Wendi obtained a green card.[16][38] Their marriage lasted 2 years and 7 months when they divorced.[39][16] Jake later said that they stayed together for only four to five months when he learned that Deng was spending time with David Wolf, a man closer to her age.[38] Deng used Wolf's money to study at Yale.

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.[10] They married in 1999[40] on board his yacht Morning Glory,[41] less than three weeks after the finalization of his divorce from his second wife, Anna Murdoch.[39][42][43][44] The couple had two daughters: Grace (born 2001) and Chloe (born 2003). Tony Blair is Grace Murdoch's godfather.[45] In June 2013, Rupert Murdoch filed for divorce from Deng, citing irreconcilable differences.[39][46]

On July 19, 2011, Wendi Murdoch attacked Jonathan May-Bowles (comedian Jonnie Marbles) after he threw a pie at her husband Rupert Murdoch while he was giving testimony before a British parliamentary committee considering the News International phone hacking scandal.[47] May-Bowles was subsequently sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment.[48]

In February 2014, The Daily Telegraph and Vanity Fair alleged that Wendi Murdoch might have had an affair with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.[49][43] An article in The Economist claimed that as a result of Rupert Murdoch's suspicion that Blair had an affair with his wife, he ended his long-standing association with Blair in 2014.[50]

In early 2018, The Wall Street Journal published a story suggesting that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump,[51] longtime friends of Murdoch, were warned by US intelligence agencies that Murdoch may be using her relationship with them to further the goals of the Chinese government.[52] Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, posited that the article was an attempt by Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Wall Street Journal, to spread the idea that "Wendi is a Chinese spy" in the aftermath of their acrimonious divorce.[53]

Murdoch lives in New York City with her two daughters.[10] Grace goes to Yale University (‘24), and Chloe studies at Stanford (‘26).[54]

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". Kittybrewster.com. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ Robehmed, Natalie (September 6, 2013). "Why Artsy Is Succeeding In Putting The Art World Online". Forbes. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  4. ^ Grishpan, Renny (March 4, 2013). "Wendi Murdoch and Kenzo Digital: Where Art and Technology Meet". Asia Society. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Song Jianglong 2018, p. 36.
  6. ^ a b Ellis, Eric (June 2007). "Wendi Deng Murdoch – A Life". The Monthly. pp. 28–40.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Lippman, John; Chang, Leslie; Frank, Robert (November 1, 2000). "Rupert Murdoch's Wife Wendi Wields Influence at News Corp". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  8. ^ Anthony, Andrew (February 9, 2014). "Sex and single-mindedness: The Wendy Deng story". The Japan Times. Retrieved December 7, 2019. Wendi Deng was born Deng Wen Ge, which means "cultural revolution,"...
  9. ^ Zhao, Christina (January 16, 2018). "Who Is Wendi Deng? Rupert Murdoch's Ex-Wife, Ivanka Trump's Bestie and Suspected Chinese Spy". Newsweek. Retrieved December 7, 2019. She was born in China's Shandong province in 1968, and her birth name was Deng Wenge, which translates to "cultural revolution." She changed her name as a teenager.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Haskell, Rob (July 20, 2016). "Wendi Murdoch Is Nothing Less Than a Force of Nature". Vogue. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  11. ^ Jonathan Watts (July 20, 2011). "Wendi Deng hailed in China for defending Rupert Murdoch". The Guardian.
  12. ^ "Rupert Murdoch's Wife Wendi Wields Influence at NewsCorp". The Wall Street Journal. November 2, 2000. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  13. ^ Adams, Stephen (July 19, 2011). "Rupert Murdoch hit by custard pie: Wendi Deng's volleyball spike". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  14. ^ Danaher, Patricia (November 12, 2011). "The Saturday interview: Wendi Murdoch". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  15. ^ Chozick, Amy (June 15, 2012). "Wendi Murdoch Is Creating a Career of Her Own". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d Steve Fishman (September 11, 2005). "The Boy Who Wouldn't Be King". New York. New York Media. p. 5. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  17. ^ "Wendi Deng: Heiress Apparent?". The Asia Magazine. Archived from the original on October 13, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  18. ^ "Wendi Deng profile: The demerger". The Independent. June 14, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  19. ^ "Wendi Murdoch to work with MySpace". China Economic Review. July 4, 2007. Archived from the original on May 19, 2008. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  20. ^ "Wendi Deng's MySpace China Venture". AsiaSentinel. July 12, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  21. ^ Lowensohn, Josh. "MySpace sells to Specific Media for $35 million". CNET. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  22. ^ Guardian Staff (November 5, 2000). "Who is Wendi Murdoch?". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  23. ^ Murdoch, Wendi (October 21, 2016). "This Is What Wendi Murdoch Does on the Internet". ELLE. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Shnayerson, Michael (March 15, 2018). "Artsy's Wendi Murdoch Just Wants to Sell You a Painting". Town & Country. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  25. ^ a b Garrahan, Matthew (July 5, 2016). "Vice Media buys Dasha Zhukova's Garage art magazine". Financial Times. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  26. ^ Robehmed, Natalie. "Why Artsy Is Succeeding In Putting The Art World Online". Forbes. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  27. ^ Schuetz, Molly (March 27, 2018). "New York's Artsy Is Making It Even Easier to Buy Art Online". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  28. ^ Lipsky-Karasz, Elisa (July 6, 2011). "The Producers". Harper's BAZAAR. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  29. ^ Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Fox Searchlight Pictures. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  30. ^ "Interview of Wendi Deng Murdoch for Swan Flower and the Secret Fan". The Charlie Rose Show. August 25, 2011. Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  31. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Movie Review (2011) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  32. ^ "Chinese American Film Festival (C.A.F.F.) (2011)". IMDb. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  33. ^ Eckardt, Stephanie (October 10, 2016). "Wendi Murdoch's New Documentary On the Chinese Artist Cai Guo-Qiang Will Explode On Netflix". W Magazine. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  34. ^ "Artist Cai Guo-Qiang Takes Center Stage in Netflix Documentary Sky Ladder". Vogue. October 14, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  35. ^ Helmore, Edward (October 6, 2016). "'I love fireworks, they mean good luck': Wendi Deng Murdoch on Chinese art". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  36. ^ "Wendi Murdoch at Sundance 2016 for the opening World Premiere documentary of SKY LADDER: THE ART OF CAI GUO-QIANG". www.filmfestivals.com. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  37. ^ Sporn, Stephanie (October 14, 2016). "Cai Guo-Qiang & Wendi Murdoch Bring 'Sky Ladder' to Sotheby's". Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ a b c Song Jianglong 2018, p. 237.
  40. ^ Chozick, Amy (June 15, 2012). "Wendi Murdoch Is Creating a Career of Her Own". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  41. ^ Golfar, Fiona (June 14, 2013). "The Vogue Interview: Wendi Deng". Vogue. Retrieved April 10, 2015Pictures by Patrick Demarchelier{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  42. ^ Anthony, Andrew (February 8, 2014). "Wendi Deng: dizzying rise of the Shanghai star". The Guardian.
  43. ^ a b Seal, Mark (February 19, 2014). "Seduced and Abandoned". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  44. ^ Danaher, Patricia (November 12, 2011). "The Saturday interview: Wendi Murdoch". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  45. ^ "Rupert Murdoch in rift with Tony Blair over claims of 'multiple' encounters with ex-wife Wendi Deng". The Daily Telegraph. November 24, 2013.
  46. ^ "Rupert Murdoch files for divorce from Wendi Deng". BBC News. June 13, 2013.
  47. ^ John Plunkett and Jane Martinson "Rupert Murdoch attacked at phone-hacking hearing". The Guardian. July 19, 2011.
  48. ^ "CC Murdoch pie thrower reportedly blogging from prison". This Just In. CNN. August 16, 2011. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
  49. ^ Singh, Anita (February 5, 2014). "Wendi Deng's 'love note for Tony Blair' published". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  50. ^ "Life after power: The loneliness of Tony Blair". The Economist. December 17, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  51. ^ 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.
  52. ^ O'Keefe, Kate (January 15, 2018). "U.S. Warned Jared Kushner About Wendi Deng Murdoch". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  53. ^ Lockie, Alex (January 16, 2018). "Jared Kushner reportedly was warned that his close friend Wendi Deng Murdoch may be a Chinese spy". Business Insider. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  54. ^ Beth Marengo and Samaria Parker (April 18, 2022). "Who's who: Meet the Murdoch Family". CNN. Retrieved June 4, 2022.


  • Song Jianglong (2018). 谜一样的女人:邓文迪传 [Mysterious Woman: the Biography of Deng Wendi] (in Chinese). Beijing: China Business Publishing House. ISBN 9787520802505.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Wife of Rupert Murdoch
1999 – 2013
Succeeded by