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Check up the following link for an interactive timeline of events that lead to marriage and separation of Rupert and Wendi Deng... very interesting

Murdoch’s billion-dollar bust up
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Rupert Murdoch was introduced to Wendi Deng at a meet-the-boss cocktail function in Hong Kong. Photo: Getty Images
It was a controversial marriage that bridged an age gap of four decades and a cultural divide, and which his centenarian mother found hard to accept. Finally, Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from his Chinese-born wife of 14 years, Wendi Deng Murdoch.
It hasn’t come as a complete surprise to those familiar with the 82-year-old’s global and entertainment empire, News Corp. Rumours had been circulating for a year or two that all was not well in the matrimonial home.
“News Corp insiders were aware that there were some strains in the relationship over the last 18 months, and that they had reached an accommodation to do their own thing,” says Bruce Dover, a former News executive who introduced the couple at a social work event 16 years ago.
“The couple’s relationship had been strained for some years,” says The Wall Street Journal , Murdoch’s prized United States newspaper, quoting “people familiar with the situation”.
Murdoch’s biographer, Michael Wolff, says the split is “dramatic”, and “as harsh as the split from Anna”, his second wife. “In the fashion that Rupert does things – peremptorily, wrathfully, implacably – it would seem to leave Wendi far out in the cold,” writes Wolff in his column in The Guardian. But “Wendi knows all Murdoch’s secrets.”
The timing is acute, coming barely two weeks before Murdoch, chairman and chief executive, is to split News into two separately listed companies, 21st Century Fox and the new News Corp.
Only last week Murdoch was in Sydney telling local investors that he felt re-energised with the prospect of rebuilding a new empire out of the spin-off company, which will own newspapers in Australia, the US and the United Kingdom, as well as domestic pay TV investments Foxtel (50 per cent stake) and Fox Sports Australia, plus online real estate advertising company REA Group (62 per cent).
The Fox company will house News’s key assets, the cable TV, US broadcast TV and film divisions that are essentially run out of the US.
Little did the fund managers know, however, that Murdoch’s lawyers were putting the finishing touches on divorce papers.
Murdoch filed for divorce in the New York State Supreme Court on Thursday, citing grounds that “the relationship has broken down irretrievably”.
There were early signs that the fact of Murdoch’s great wealth would be a divisive issue. This was his third marriage, after all, begun as an older man in his late 60s, with adult children watching on as he produced two more heirs to the family fortune.
There was an inevitable struggle about whether all children should be treated equally in the final division of spoils.
Money and business were inescapable in their relationship, yet whatever the tensions, the couple were capable of presenting a unified front in public when necessary.
For example, only last December Wendi accompanied the ageing media mogul to the Melbourne funeral service of his mother, Dame Elisabeth, who died aged 103. (Yet she had not been with him during his two visits to Australia this year.)
This was all the more noteworthy given the initial ructions when Wendi replaced his second and much-revered wife, Anna.
His mother, for one, was prepared to publicly support Anna and voiced her reluctance to embrace his third spouse.
“Rupert had a wonderful marriage to Anna and it was a terrible thing to just end it,” she told The Guardian at the time of her 100th birthday. “When you take a vow to be loyal to someone for all your life, you don’t hurt other people for your own happiness. I’m still so fond of Anna that I find it hard to accept Wendi, but I must, of course.”
Murdoch had purchased a second apartment in New York so that he didn’t have to spend every night at the matrimonial Fifth Avenue penthouse, which he acquired in 2005 for $US44 million, says a source.
Following the official acknowledgement of the collapse of Murdoch’s third marriage, and her second,The Wall Street Journal swiftly published an article pointing out that Wendi, 44, would not have any claim over the Murdoch family’s voting shares for News.
Wendi Murdoch is not a beneficiary of the Murdoch Family Trust, which holds 38.4 per cent of voting stock, says the WSJ.
The beneficiaries are Murdoch’s four eldest children – Prudence MacLeod, the sole offspring to his first, comparatively short-lived marriage to Patricia Booker; and Elisabeth, Lachlan and James Murdoch from his second marriage, to Anna Torv – plus his two children with Wendi, Grace, 11, and Chloe, 9.
The four older children “have the right to appoint trustees for the trust, giving them the right to eventually control the stock when . . . Murdoch dies”, says the WSJ.
A News Corp filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this year says Rupert Murdoch “disclaims any beneficial ownership” of the shares from this family trust.
However, Murdoch, as part of his individual wealth, owns 1 per cent of voting stock that is held in a separate trust, called the K. Rupert Murdoch 2004 Revocable Trust. Whether or not Wendi would have any claim on this is unclear.
There is a third trust, called the GCM Trust, that owns an additional 1 per cent of voting shares for Murdoch’s “minor children”, Grace and Chloe, who are the beneficiaries. The shares are worth about $US270 million.
According to the SEC filing, this third trust is “administered by independent trustees”. Again, Murdoch himself “disclaims beneficial ownership” of the GCM Trust shares.
The subject of who was entitled to what portion of the family fortune became a significant bone of contention among the family members after Murdoch split from his second wife, Anna, in 1999 after 32 years of marriage.
Murdoch married Wendi in a romantic ceremony on his yacht beneath New York’s Statue of Liberty only weeks after the divorce came through.
Divorce proceedings were reported at the time to have been bitter, following a long period of estrangement between Murdoch and his long-term wife. Anna was said to have been pushing for Murdoch – whose company is his life – to slow down and take a more executive chairman-type role, allowing his children to take more hands-on executive positions.
But Murdoch wouldn’t hear of it. He told American TV interviewer Charlie Rose in 2006 that he wanted to run News “forever”.
At the time, Anna was reported to have received $US100 million plus various properties from the divorce settlement. Reports this week suggested her total compensation might have been around $1.7 billion.
Under the terms of their split, Anna successfully got Murdoch to agree that control of the family’s voting shares in the company would be retained by his four oldest children.
However, after the births of his two children with Wendi, Murdoch manoeuvred for them to obtain a financial interest in the voting shares. “Ultimately, the younger children became beneficiaries of the trust that holds most of the voting stock, but they don’t have any right to exercise any control,” says the WSJ.
Murdoch told Rose that “all [children] get treated equally” in the family trust. Yet he conceded that “in terms of power” and “leadership”, the four older children would decide on who would take over the running of the company in the event of his death.
The issue of what Wendi may eventually be entitled to is further complicated by a prenuptial agreement, which was followed by two further agreements in 2002 and 2004.
Whatever the arrangements, under US law it is clear she will receive a small fortune by any normal person’s standards.
Wendi Deng’s early life, however, was far from normal. According to Eric Ellis’ detailed profile in The Monthly in 2007, she was born Deng Wen Ge in Shandong, and changed her name to Wendi in her mid teens.
Wendi’s personal history has always been something of a public mystery. Ellis wrote that father was an engineer, who rose to become a “medium-level” Communist Party official in the state ironworks. She attended the Xuzhou No. 1 Middle School and “was regarded as a student of average to upper ability”.
She studied clinical medicine at the Guangzhou Medical College and, during this time, met Jake Cherry, a then 50-year-old American technician who tutored her in English. Cherry’s wife Joyce and their two children returned to the US while Jake finished his contract.
Upon his return to California, Wendi followed in 1988 and the Cherry family sponsored Wendi’s student visa and let her stay in their home. Eventually, Joyce became suspicious that they were having an affair and kicked them out, says Ellis. Cherry and Wendi married in 1990.
Two years later they were divorced, but it was enough time for Wendi to obtain a Green Card which allowed her to live and work in the US. Later she completed an MBA at the prestigious Yale Ivy League university.
Yale’s MBA students were required to work as interns, and in 1996 Wendi found a place at Star TV in Hong Kong, the Asian satellite TV company in which News Corp had bought a controlling stake in 1993.
Dover, who was vice-president of News Corp China from 1995 to 1999, says he introduced Wendi to Murdoch at a cocktail function in Hong Kong that had been arranged for Star TV staff to meet the boss, who was passing through on his way to China. Wendi had been with Star for about a year.
“After dinner in the car he was saying how impressive those Chinese women are,” recalls Dover. “He was absolutely taken with her.”
At the time, Murdoch was focused on trying various ways for News to penetrate China’s rapidly growing markets, a strategy that ultimately produced limited results.
By the time their relationship – and marriage – were eventually revealed two years later, Dover says “everyone was surprised” within News. “We were aware there was some sort of rapport there.”
Dover says that, initially, Murdoch and Wendi “used to talk business all the time”. “In some ways, in the early days, she was a sounding board,” he adds.
Others who have been close to Murdoch at various times say that, although Wendi’s influence with Murdoch in regards to the business may have waned in recent years, she had still remained the “gatekeeper” to him on a personal level.
“When an older man marries a younger woman, it is a revitalising experience,” Murdoch told Rose.
In the past few years, however, their 38-year age gap had shown. Wendi is reported to have carved out a much younger social set that included former British prime minister Tony Blair, Australian actor Nicole Kidman and pop star Bono. She has also launched a new career as a film producer, making her debut in 2011 with Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, set in 19th-century China. The movie was released by News’s Fox Searchlight film division but failed to ignite the box office.
In the same year, she made global headlines by hitting a protester who tried to throw a cream pie at Murdoch when he was testifying to a British parliamentary committee investigating News’s infamous phone-hacking scandal, which threatened to destroy the ethical reputation of his company.
The exact reasons for their divorce are unclear at this stage, although factors in any divorce are often opaque.
Nevertheless, the BBC’s business editor, Robert Peston, added to speculation when he tweeted on Thursday: “Am also told that undisclosed reasons for Murdoch divorcing Deng are jaw-dropping.”
Murdoch’s life is about to go through a period of dramatic upheaval, both on a personal and professional front.
His self-stated mission to save the newspaper publishing industry in the digital age with his spin-off company is far from a certain outcome.
Now he finds himself increasingly without long-term allies.
Besides Wendi, his trusted chief financial officer for the past 23 years, David DeVoe, will step down as an executive at the end of the month (although he will remain a company director).
Now in his ninth decade, time is becoming more finite for Australia’s greatest businessman.
Murdoch may have conquered the world after inheriting a single, small newspaper in Adelaide and becoming a multi-billionaire both loved and loathed.
But now he finds himself alone.
 Murdoch to leave Deng with riches but no power
 At 82, Murdoch reinvents the family firm
 Uncut: the thoughts of Chairman Murdoch
 Murdoch may pocket $US28.3m after company split
 Murdoch in meditative mood
The Australian Financial Review
better aim to be like buffett, loved and adored by everyone Big Grin