Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his estranged wife Wendi Deng have settled their divorce, around five months after their separation was announced. The settlement was announced to judge during a court date Wednesday morning, November 20 in New York state court in Manhattan.
"We are pleased to announce that we have reached an amicable settlement of all matters relating to our divorce," they said in a joint statement. "We move forward with mutual respect and a shared interest in the health and happiness of our two daughters. We will not comment on this any further."
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Deng is expected to keep their home in Beijing and their Fifth Avenue apartment in Manhattan, which was purchased in 2004 for a then-record $44 million and then renovated on a reported cost of $50 million.
"I am glad you've been able to resolve these matters amicably," Judge Ellen Gesmer said. "Good luck to both of you." Murdoch, 82, donned a gray suit and red tie, while Deng, 44, wore an olive green coat and a navy skirt. After the hearing that lasted less than 15 minutes, she gave him a brief hug before leaving with her lawyer.
Murdoch first met Deng 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.
When announcing their split this summer, Murdoch cited that their marriage had been irretrievably broken. They are given 60 days to implement the agreement before the divorce is finalized.
Deng earned the nickname of "Tiger Wife" for her brave attempt two years ago to stop a protester from hitting Murdoch with a shaving cream pie during his highly publicized testimony before a British parliamentary committee in connection with the News International phone-hacking scandal.
The couple has two daughters together, Grace and Chloe. The daughters will have economic interests in a family trust equal to his older children (Prudence from his first wife Patricia Booker, and Lachlan, James & Elizabeth from his second wife Anna Torv).
But as a result of his divorce settlement with his second wife, the two will have no voting rights on Murdoch's entertainment giant 21st Century Fox and publishing company News Corp. It upset Deng when years ago he refused to put their daughters on equal footing with the other children.