After 14 years of marriage, Rupert Murdoch calls it quits with his third wife, Wendi Deng. Deadline reports that the media mogul filed for divorce in New York State Supreme Court on Thursday morning, June 13. The divorce report comes just days before News Corp will split into two companies, one containing its entertainment assets and the other holding its publishing business.
Sources told Deadline that Murdoch, who has two young daughters (Grace and Chloe) with Yale-educated Wendi, had planned the divorce after noticing a change in her behavior towards him last February. "She was snippy with him during Oscar weekend, and she's really impatient with him these days," a source said to the site.
Gabelli & Co analyst Brett Harriss predicted that it would have no impact on the media empire. "I doubt it has a substantial impact on the spin," he said, referring to the News Corp separation. "Given that it's his third wife, I see it unlikely that he didn't plan for this contingency."
Murdoch first met Wendi in 1997, when she worked at Murdoch-owned Star Television, at a News Corp party in Hong Kong. After his divorce from Anna Maria Tory was finalized, he married her on his yacht in New York Harbor in June 1999.
Chinese-born Wendi is widely known for her heroic action during Murdoch's highly publicized testimony before a British parliamentary committee in connection with the News International phone-hacking scandal.
As a protester named Jonathan May-Bowles tried to hit Murdoch with a shaving cream pie, she leaped quickly to her feet from her chair and punched him. "Mr. Murdoch, your wife has a very good left hook," said Tom Watson, a Labour member of Parliament. Wendi then earned the nickname of "Tiger Wife".