Born in Jinan, Shandong, and raised in Xuzhou, Jiangsu, Wendy Deng, the soon to be ex-wife of global media magnate Rupert Murdoch, was originally known as Deng Wenge which means “Cultural Revolution”. Although the split has come as a shock to some, others see it as just the next step in Wendy’s carefully thought out path to business success.
She first adopted the moniker ‘Wendy’ during her teens, as the once stalwart Communist state began to open up to new ways of thinking. Fast-forward a few decades, and Wendy is known around the world for her staunch support of Murdoch during his British parliamentary hearing into the News International phone-hacking scandal. Her shining moment came when she rushed to his defense as an angry protestor attacked him with the pie.
Deng’s exploits are magnets for media coverage. As the story goes, she first came to the States with a kindly American couple, Jake and Joyce Cherry. Having embarked on an affair with Jake, it was only a matter of time before relations turned sour. Jake and Wendy eventually married, but the partnership appears to have crumbled almost as soon as Deng received her Green Card. After a spell at Yale, she found herself a role at a Hong Kong TV company, and it was here that she made her biggest power play to date, winning the love of her elderly boss Murdoch, and ultimately marrying him.
This younger wife’s apparent loyalty and unhesitating defence of her husband won praise around the globe as news reports showed a polished and determined Deng leaping forth to intercept the creamy assault. Even in her native Chin, there were many eager to stoke the buzz around this daring mother of two.
Deng’s exploits are magnets for media coverage.
Deng had been previously labelled a gold digger for her marriage with the 82-year-old Murdoch, one of the richest men in the world. However this act of courage was enough to turn the public’s perception of her from ‘trophy wife’ into the ‘tiger wife’ almost overnight.
Considering the apparent devotion on display last year, the announcement that the couple are due to split has taken everyone by surprise, not least Murdoch himself.
Already Murdoch’s Chief Advisor for My Space in China, it is speculated that Wendy may be on the verge of making her next move into global media.
The couple’s two children are in line to inherit a stake in Murdoch’s global media empire, but it will be some years until they reach 18. In the meantime, control could arguably pass to Deng- effectively making her the most powerful female media mogul in the world. As lawyers on both sides run their hands with glee at the prospect of a drawn out divorce battle on thing is clear- the girl from small town China isn’t just going to slink away quietly.