Wendi Deng Murdoch

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Wendi Deng Murdoch
Wendi Murdoch 2012 Shankbone 2.JPG
Wendi Deng Murdoch at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival
Born Deng Wenge (邓文革)
(1968-12-08) December 8, 1968 (age 47)[1]
Jinan, Shandong, China
Residence New York City
Nationality American
Ethnicity Chinese
Occupation Businessperson
Spouse(s) Jake Cherry (1990–1991)
Rupert Murdoch (1999–2013)
Children Grace Helen Murdoch (b. 2001)[2][3]
Chloe Murdoch (b. 2003)[2][3]
External images
Wendi Deng
The past. Rupert and Wendi as a happy couple // Lightning (a newspaper), June 15, 2013

Wendi Deng Murdoch (simplified Chinese: 邓文迪; traditional Chinese: 鄧文迪; pinyin: Dèng Wéndí; born December 8, 1968) is an American businesswoman. Born in China, She was the third wife of News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, who filed for divorce from her in June 2013.[4]

In 1988 Deng was sponsored by an American family for a student visa. She attended Cal State Northridge for economics and completed her master's degree in business at the Yale School of Management, where she currently serves on the board of advisers.[5] Deng's debut in the media came with Fox TV. She was offered an internship at Star TV, Hong Kong, part of News Corporation.

Early life and education[edit]

Wendi Deng Murdoch was born in Jinan, Shandong, and raised in Xuzhou, Jiangsu. Her birth name was Deng Wenge (邓文革),[6] Wenge meaning "Cultural Revolution."[7] She changed it in her teens when a more open and international mood took hold.[8] She is one of four children (three daughters, one son) born to engineers.[6][9] She attended Xuzhou First Secondary School and 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 1985, at age 16, she enrolled in Guangzhou Medical College.[10]

In 1987 she met an American businessman and his wife, Jake and Joyce Cherry,[11] who had temporarily relocated to China and helped build a refrigerator factory.[11] She studied English with Joyce.[11] In 1988 she abandoned her medical studies and traveled to the United States to study, with Jake and Joyce Cherry sponsoring her student visa[11] (Jake later became Deng's first husband). She enrolled at California State University, Northridge, where she studied economics and was among the top students.[11][12]

She received a bachelor's degree in economics from California State University at Northridge and an MBA from the Yale School of Management, where she currently serves on the board of advisers.[5]

Career and public profile[edit]

Upon graduation from Yale, she 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,[13] 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.[14][15] Previously she had been a junior executive at News Corp's Star TV in Hong Kong in 1999. Deng led her 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.[16]

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.[17][18]

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.[19] May-Bowles was subsequently sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Husband Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng in 2011

When Deng was living with Jake and Joyce Cherry during her 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 her,[11] and the two married in 1990.[10] Their marriage lasted 2 years 7 months before they were legally divorced,[11] but Jake would later explain they stayed together for only four or five months,[10] when he learned that Deng was spending time with David Wolf, a man closer to her age.[10] Nonetheless, she had been able to secure a green card through her marriage to Cherry.[10][11]

In 1997 she met Rupert Murdoch at a company party in Hong Kong.[12] They married in 1999[21] on board his yacht "The Morning Glory[de],"[22] less than three weeks after the finalization of his divorce from his second wife, Anna Murdoch. The couple had two children, Grace (born 2001) and Chloe (born 2003). Tony Blair is Grace Murdoch's godfather.[23] In June 2013, Murdoch filed for divorce from Deng, citing irreconcilable differences.[4] Michael Wolff, one of Murdoch's biographers, described himself "absolutely gobsmacked" at the news.[24]

On February 5, 2014, the London 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 rumors 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] Deng's letter to herself where she described her torment in missing Blair published by Vanity Fair in February 2014, raised speculation that there was more to Deng's relationship with Blair than friendship.[26] It is this letter that was said to be the last straw for Murdoch to separate from his wife of 14 years, reports said.[27] As a result of Murdoch's suspicion that Blair had had an affair with Deng, he ended his long-standing association with Blair in 2014.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lewis, Hilary. "Happy Belated Birthday, Wendi Deng!". Business Insider. 
  2. ^ a b "Rupert Murdoch and His Family". International Business Times. 9 July 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b The Genealogy of the Murdoch Family
  4. ^ a b "Rupert Murdoch files for divorce from Wendi Deng", BBC News, 13 June 2013
  5. ^ a b Yale School of Management – Board of Advisors. Accessed December 2, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Ellis, Eric (June 2007). "Wendi Deng Murdoch – A Life". The Monthly. pp. 28–40. 
  7. ^ Behind Wendi Deng’s billion-dollar spike
  8. ^ Jonathan Watts (20 July 2011). "Wendi Deng hailed in China for defending Rupert Murdoch". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ "Rupert Murdoch’s Wife Wendi Wields Influence at NewsCorp". The Wall Street Journal. November 2, 2000. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Leonard, Tom (November 2, 2000). "How Murdoch’s wife won her ticket to America". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Steve Fishman (September 11, 2005). "The Boy Who Wouldn't Be King". New York. New York Media. p. 5. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b "Wendi Deng: Heiress Apparent?". The Asia Magazine. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  13. ^ Lippman, John. "Rupert Murdoch's Wife Wendi Wields Influence at News Corp.". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  14. ^ Fixmer, Andy (June 29, 2011). "News Corp. Calls Quits on Myspace With Specific Media Sale". Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Wendi Murdoch to work with MySpace". China Economic Review. July 4, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Who is Wendi Murdoch?". The Guardian (London). November 5, 2000. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  17. ^ Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Fox Searchlight Pictures. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  18. ^ "Interview of Wendi Deng Murdoch for Swan Flower and the Secret Fan". The Charlie Rose Show. August 25, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  19. ^ John Plunkett and Jane Martinson "Rupert Murdoch attacked at phone-hacking hearing", The Guardian, 19 July 2011
  20. ^ "CC Murdoch pie thrower reportedly blogging from prison". CNN. August 16, 2011. 
  21. ^ "NNDb.com". NNDb.com. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  22. ^ Golfar, Fiona (14 June 2013). "The Vogue Interview: Wendi Deng". Vogue. Retrieved 2015-04-10  Pictures by Patrick Demarchelier 
  23. ^ 24 Nov 2013 "Rupert Murdoch in rift with Tony Blair over claims of 'multiple' encounters with ex-wife Wendi Deng" Telegraph
  24. ^ "Profile: Wendi Deng Murdoch", BBC News, 14 June 2013
  25. ^ Singh, Anita (Feb 5, 2014). "Wendi Deng's 'love note for Tony Blair' published". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 4, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Seduced and Abandoned". Vanity Fair. March 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  27. ^ Mohan, Keerthi (February 18, 2014). "Was Ex British Prime Minister Tony Blair Having an Affair with Rupert Murdoch's Wife?". International Business Times (India Edition). Retrieved 2015-07-18. 
  28. ^ Life after power: The loneliness of Tony Blair, economist.com.

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