Murdoch's divorce from wife will not affect News Corp: Source

Murdoch's divorce from wife will not affect News Corp: Source

News Corp's Rupert Murdoch files for divorce from wife Wendi NEW YORK - News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch on Thursday filed for divorce from his wife of 14 years, Wendi, seeking to end a marriage that had been irretrievably broken for more than six months, according to his spokesman.

Murdoch, 82, married the former Wendi Deng, 44, in 1999 in his third and her second marriage. They have two young daughters.

Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng Murdoch to split, sons succeed him

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    News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch filed papers to divorce his third wife Wendi Deng on Thursday, citing an "irretrievably" broken marriage to a woman 38 years his junior.

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    An application for an index number to the New York County Clerk pertaining to divorce documents filed by News Corp. Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi Deng Murdoch is seen at the State Supreme Courthouse in New York, June 13, 2013.

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    The 82-year-old media tycoon's Chinese-born partner is perhaps best known for a 2011 incident when she leapt to defend her husband by striking a pie-wielding protester, prompting headlines calling her a "tiger wife."

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    Deng worked as Murdoch's interpreter before they got married.

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    In an interview, Murdoch said he proposed to Deng and she rejected him. He said he was smitten by her after working with her.

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    According to online reports, Deng has an MBA from prestigious US university Yale.

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    The incident earned Deng a lot of media attention including nicknames such as "pie-deflecting wife" and also the title of "Best wife of the year".

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    Born in the eastern Chinese city of Xuzhou in 1968 - at the height of the Cultural Revolution - she left China at 19 to study in the United States.

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    James Murdoch, 42, is set to become chief executive at 21st Century Fox, the television and film group that includes Fox's Hollywood studios, Fox television and other assets around the globe.

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    In his youth, James was considered a rebel with earrings, baggy pants and platinum blond hair.Today he offers a clean-cut look with glasses and short hair and is married to an American with whom he has three children.

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    Lachlan Murdoch, 43, had been seen as the heir-apparent to his father's empire but abruptly left the group in 2005 when he had the job of deputy chief operating officer.

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    He returned to the fold in 2014 when his father created positions suggesting a key role in operations at both firms.

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    Through his private investment firm Illyria, he also heads Nova Entertainment, which invests in media and telecom operations in Australia.

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    Lachlan, who steps into the role of co-executive chairman at Fox and holds the same post at News Corp, has managed several units within his father's company including the HarperCollins publishing group, Fox Television Stations and the New York Post.

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The divorce filing, which was sealed, comes just days before News Corp is to split into two companies, one containing its entertainment assets and the other holding its publishing business. Murdoch, who Forbes says is worth US$9.4 billion, is to be chairman of both publicly traded companies.

Despite the timing, there is no connection between the divorce and the corporate split, said a source close to News Corp who was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly. Deng could not be reached for comment.

Analysts said the end of the Murdochs' marriage was unlikely to have an impact on the media empire. Murdoch and Deng had a prenuptial agreement, according to a person familiar with the situation. Their girls, Grace and Chloe, have stakes in the family trust that holds the Murdochs' stake in News Corp, but they do not have voting rights.

"I doubt it has a substantial impact on the spin," Gabelli & Co analyst Brett Harriss 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."

Ira Garr, an attorney listed as representing Murdoch, said he filed the divorce papers just after 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) on Thursday. Garr, who previously represented Ivana Trump and actor Anthony Quinn's wife Yolanda, declined to comment further.

 Deng is represented by attorney Pamela Sloan, chair of the Family Law section of the New York State Bar Association. Sloan, a partner of the firm Aronson Mayefsky and Sloan, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Details of the prenuptial agreement were not known and it was not clear who would move out of the Murdochs' apartment in New York City's tony Upper East Side.

Murdoch also has four grown children, Prudence from his first marriage, and Lachlan, James and Elisabeth from his second. These four grown children all have voting rights unlike Murdoch's two children with Deng. The family trust owned 38.4 per cent of the voting stock in News Corp as of April 30.

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