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
OccupationEntrepreneur, investor, 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-born, American entrepreneur, investor, movie producer and collector of Chinese contemporary art.[4] [5] She was the third wife of News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch. [6]

Early life and education[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),[7] Deng, the family name,[8] and Wenge meaning "cultural revolution."[9] She has two older sisters, and a brother,[8] and both of her parents were engineers.[10] When she was a teen she compressed her first name into "Wendi.[11][7][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[8] at the People's Machinery Works; she and her family remained in Xuzhou until they joined their father a short time later. At the age of 16 she was enrolled at the Guangzhou Medical College.[8]

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 the Yale University.[10]

Career and public profile[edit]

Star TV Hong Kong[edit]

Upon graduation from Yale, 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.[8] Within one year she became a vice president.[10] Additionally, she investigated interactive TV opportunities for News Digital Systems.[8]


In 2009 Murdoch co-founded the online platform Artsy [18] with Carter Cleveland[19] and Dasha Zhukova,[20] which has since become one of the top online places for buying, viewing and learning about art.[21] [10][22] Other investors include Peter Thiel, François Pinault and Eric Schmidt.[20][10]


Murdoch was an advisor for MySpace's China operation, prior to the company's sale to Specific Media in June 2011.[23][24][25]

Chinese internet investor[edit]

She led the Murdoch family’s Chinese internet investments and helped form business links with China for high-speed video and internet access.[26]

Film production[edit]

In 2011, Murdoch co-produced her first film with Florence Sloan,[27] Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, a movie about two footbound children in Qing dynasty China, [28][29] directed by Wayne Wang.[30] The film won the Golden Angel Award at the Chinese American Film Festival.[31]

She also produced the Netflix documentary Sky Ladder[32] which showcased the art of Cai Guo-Qiang[33] and directed by Academy Award-winning director Kevin MacDonald.[34] The film premiered in January 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival.[35] Sotheby’s hosted a private reception and screening of the film in October 2016 before the film’s Netflix debut.[36]

Other investments[edit]

Murdoch invested in tech start-ups including Oscar, Snapchat, Uber and Warby Parker.[19] [10]

Board memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Husband Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng in 2011

Jake and Joyce Cherry hosted Deng in their home during her studies in the United States. Later Jake left his wife,[16] and the two married in 1990.[44] While married to Cherry, Deng obtained a green card.[16] [44] Their marriage lasted 2 years 7 months when they divorced,[16] Jake later said that 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.[44]

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 [45] on board his yacht "Morning Glory",[46] less than three weeks after the finalization of his divorce from his second wife, Anna Murdoch.[47][48][49] The couple had two children, Grace (born 2001) and Chloe (born 2003). Tony Blair is Grace Murdoch's godfather.[50] In June 2013, Murdoch filed for divorce from Deng, citing irreconcilable differences.[6]

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.[51] May-Bowles was subsequently sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment.[52]

In February 2014, The Daily Telegraph and Vanity Fair alleged that Deng had an affair with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair,[53] [54] 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.[55]

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[56], close acquaintances of Deng, were warned by US intelligence agencies that Deng may be working as a Chinese spy.[57][58]

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. ^ Robehmed, Natalie (6 September 2013). "Why Artsy Is Succeeding In Putting The Art World Online". Forbes. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  5. ^ Grishpan, Renny (4 March 2013). "Wendi Murdoch and Kenzo Digital: Where Art and Technology Meet". Asiasociety.org. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Rupert Murdoch files for divorce from Wendi Deng", BBC News, June 13, 2013
  7. ^ a b Ellis, Eric (June 2007). "Wendi Deng Murdoch – A Life". The Monthly. pp. 28–40.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Lippman, John; Chang, Leslie; Frank, Robert (2000-11-01). "Rupert Murdoch's Wife Wendi Wields Influence at News Corp". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  9. ^ Ellis, By Eric. "Behind Wendi Deng's billion-dollar spike".
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Roy, Rob Haskell, Norman Jean. "Wendi Murdoch Is Nothing Less Than a Force of Nature".
  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 (2011-07-19). "Rupert Murdoch hit by custard pie: Wendi Deng's volleyball spike". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  14. ^ Danaher, Patricia (2011-11-12). "The Saturday interview: Wendi Murdoch". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  15. ^ Chozick, Amy (2012-06-15). "Wendi Murdoch Is Creating a Career of Her Own". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  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. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  18. ^ Murdoch, Wendi (2016-10-21). "This Is What Wendi Murdoch Does on the Internet". ELLE. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  19. ^ a b Shnayerson, Michael (2018-03-15). "Artsy's Wendi Murdoch Just Wants to Sell You a Painting". Town & Country. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  20. ^ a b Garrahan, Matthew (5 July 2016). "Vice Media buys Dasha Zhukova's Garage art magazine". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  21. ^ Robehmed, Natalie. "Why Artsy Is Succeeding In Putting The Art World Online". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  22. ^ Schuetz, Molly (27 March 2018). "New York's Artsy Is Making It Even Easier to Buy Art Online". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  23. ^ "Wendi Murdoch to work with MySpace". China Economic Review. July 4, 2007. Archived from the original on May 19, 2008. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  24. ^ "Wendi Deng's MySpace China Venture". AsiaSentinel. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  25. ^ Lowensohn, Josh. "MySpace sells to Specific Media for $35 million". CNET. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  26. ^ Staff, Guardian (2000-11-05). "Who is Wendi Murdoch?". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  27. ^ Lipsky-Karasz, Elisa (2011-07-06). "The Producers". Harper's BAZAAR. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  28. ^ Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Fox Searchlight Pictures. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  29. ^ "Interview of Wendi Deng Murdoch for Swan Flower and the Secret Fan". The Charlie Rose Show. August 25, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  30. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Movie Review (2011) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  31. ^ "Chinese American Film Festival (C.A.F.F.) (2011)". IMDb. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  32. ^ Eckardt, Stephanie. "Wendi Murdoch's New Documentary On the Chinese Artist Cai Guo-Qiang Will Explode On Netflix". W Magazine. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  33. ^ "Artist Cai Guo-Qiang Takes Center Stage in Netflix Documentary Sky Ladder". Vogue. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  34. ^ Helmore, Edward (2016-10-06). "'I love fireworks, they mean good luck': Wendi Deng Murdoch on Chinese art". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  35. ^ "Wendi Murdoch at Sundance 2016 for the opening World Premiere documentary of SKY LADDER: THE ART OF CAI GUO-QIANG". www.filmfestivals.com. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  36. ^ Sporn, Stephanie (14 October 2016). "Cai Guo-Qiang & Wendi Murdoch Bring 'Sky Ladder' to Sotheby's". Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  37. ^ Harris, Ainsley (2017-07-18). "How A Bunch Of Data Geeks Charmed The Art World—And Modernized It". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  38. ^ developer@themonthly.com.au (2007-06-06). "Wendi Deng Murdoch". The Monthly. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  39. ^ "Wendi Murdoch Celebrates Met Gala Monday and Rei Kawakubo". Vogue. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  40. ^ a b c "Wendi Murdoch Is Nothing Less Than a Force of Nature". Vogue. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  41. ^ Yahr, Emily (4 May 2015). "Met Gala 2015: Can anything top last year's solangejay z drama?". Washington Post. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  42. ^ "China: Through the Looking Glass". www.metmuseum.org. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  43. ^ Staff, By the CNN Wire. "Who is Wendi Deng Murdoch?". CNN. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  44. ^ 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.
  45. ^ Chozick, Amy (2012-06-15). "Wendi Murdoch Is Creating a Career of Her Own". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  46. ^ Golfar, Fiona (June 14, 2013). "The Vogue Interview: Wendi Deng". Vogue. Retrieved April 10, 2015  Pictures by Patrick Demarchelier
  47. ^ Anthony, Andrew (February 8, 2014). "Wendi Deng: dizzying rise of the Shanghai star" – via The Guardian.
  48. ^ Seal, Mark. "Read Wendi Deng Murdoch's Mash Note Allegedly About Tony Blair: "He Has Such Good Body"".
  49. ^ Danaher, Patricia (2011-11-12). "The Saturday interview: Wendi Murdoch". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  50. ^ "Rupert Murdoch in rift with Tony Blair over claims of 'multiple' encounters with ex-wife Wendi Deng". The Daily Telegraph. 24 Nov 2013.
  51. ^ John Plunkett and Jane Martinson "Rupert Murdoch attacked at phone-hacking hearing", The Guardian, July 19, 2011
  52. ^ "CC Murdoch pie thrower reportedly blogging from prison". This Just In. CNN. August 16, 2011.
  53. ^ Singh, Anita (2014-02-05). "Wendi Deng's 'love note for Tony Blair' published". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  54. ^ Seal, Mark. "Read Wendi Deng Murdoch's Mash Note Allegedly About Tony Blair: "He Has Such Good Body"". Vanities. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  55. ^ "Life after power: The loneliness of Tony Blair". The Economist.
  56. ^ 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.
  57. ^ O'Keefe, Kate (15 January 2018). "U.S. Warned Jared Kushner About Wendi Deng Murdoch". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  58. ^ 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.

External links[edit]