Aussie magnate threatens to sue Murdoch

SYDNEY - Flamboyant Australian billionaire Clive Palmer yesterday said he plans to sue Mr Rupert Murdoch over unflattering allegations, and claimed that the media mogul's estranged wife is a Chinese spy.

Mr Palmer, best known for building a replica of the Titanic and who is running for election in Australia tomorrow, seethed over a comment piece questioning his wealth and whether he is indeed a university professor and a mining magnate, as he claims.

Mr Murdoch's flagship newspaper, The Australian, ran the story on its front page under the headline: "Why we need to worry about the real Clive Palmer", alleging that he is "a man with a history of peddling fantasies that often morph into a unique version of 'reality'".

Mr Palmer accused the Australia-born Murdoch, now a United States citizen, of telling his reporters what to write and said he needed to be called to account for the comment piece.

The 59-year-old told the Seven Network: "Mr Murdoch will be sued by me today and will be taken to Australia to answer these questions in the Supreme Court.

"It's time this fellow was brought to account, this foreigner who tries to dictate what we do."

In a separate interview with the Nine Network, Mr Palmer made extraordinary claims about Mr Murdoch's estranged wife, Ms Wendi Deng.

He alleged: "You know, Rupert Murdoch's wife, Wendi Deng, is a Chinese spy, and that's been right across the world."