Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Murdoch is the latest in a long line of pie-throwing pranksters' targets

Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi Deng arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Mortons in West Hollywood March 5, 2006. - Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi Deng arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Mortons in West Hollywood March 5, 2006. | Phil McCarten/Reuters

That Wendi Deng sure packs a punch

Since her marriage to Rupert Murdoch in 1999, Wendi Deng has come to play a largely protective role for the octogenarian media potentate. According to press accounts, she closely supervises his diet and fitness regimen.
Just how seriously the Chinese-born former TV executive takes her responsibilities was clear on Tuesday, as the aging tycoon testified before a British parliamentary panel.

When stand-up comic cum civic activist Jonathan May-Bowles, a.k.a. Jonnie Marbles, disrupted the proceedings by attempting to perform the old, vaudevillian, pie-in-the-face routine, Ms. Deng reacted spontaneously, literally leaping to her husband’s defence.
Wearing a tight pink jacket (reminiscent, ironically, of the one worn by Jacqueline Kennedy on the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination), the 42-year-old Ms. Deng – a former amateur volleyball player – made a vicious return of Mr. Marbles’s serve, delivering an open-palmed swat to his head. Mr. Murdoch was uninjured, marred only by an unsightly smear of foam on his suit jacket.
Born and raised in China, the daughter of a factory manager (her given Chinese name, Wenge, means “Cultural Revolution”), Ms. Deng is Mr. Murdoch’s third wife, and 38 years his junior. They met in 1997 in Hong Kong, where Ms. Deng was a junior executive at Star TV, News Corporation’s satellite business.
By then, his marriage to the former Anna Maria Torv – mother of the three Murdoch children, Elisabeth, Lachlan and James, actively involved in the family-controlled public company – was unravelling.
Conferring a reported $1.2-billion settlement upon Anna, Mr. Murdoch married Ms. Deng 17 days after his divorce became final, aboard his 48-metre yacht, the Morning Glory, in New York Harbour.
Ms. Deng, too, has sailed the troubled waters of marital discord.
In 1988, abandoning preliminary medical studies, she moved to California to study economics, graduating near the top of her class. Her student visa was sponsored by an American couple, Jake and Joyce Cherry, whom she’d met in China.
But two years after she arrived, the Cherry marriage came asunder. In 1990, she and Jake Cherry, 30 years her senior, tied the knot. Their union lasted less than a year, amid accusations that Ms. Deng was involved with yet another married man.Read more....

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