Rupert Murdoch Filed for Divorce From Third Wife Wendi Deng
The chairman and CEO of News Corp. filed divorce papers in New York.
June 13, 2013 — -- Media mogul Rupert Murdoch filed divorce papers from his wife of 14 years, Wendi Deng, on Thursday, a spokesman confirmed to ABC News.
Murdoch, 82, chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp., married Deng, 44, in 1999 in New York City.
A spokesman for News Corp. said the court filing describes that their relationship had broken down irretrievably in the last six months.
They met in 1997 when she worked for Murdoch's Star Television in China. Murdoch and Deng have two young daughters, Grace and Chloe, who were born in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Murdoch had two previous marriages and has four adult children.
Murdoch's last divorce, to Anna Maria Torv in 1999, reportedly cost him $1.7 billion.
Murdoch kept his marriage to Deng out of headline news for the most part, but she garnered media attention in 2011 when she hit a man who tried to hit her husband with a pie as he was testifying in front of members of British parliament.
At the time, Murdoch was apologizing in front of a special committee after phone hacking at his tabloid News of the World, which closed in July 2011.
The Oxford-educated media mogul took over his father's newspaper business, News Limited, in his native Australia when he was 22, according to the BBC. He has reportedly been in good health since being diagnosed with "low grade" prostate cancer in 2000.
On June 28, News Corp. will begin the spin-off of its publishing division, which includes newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, from its media and entertainment businesses, such as the Fox networks. The entertainment company will be called 21st Century Fox.
Michael Stutman, president of the New York chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and head of family law at Mishcon de Reya, said Murdoch's decision to file for divorce in New York may be influenced by the state's law.
In New York, if there is a prenuptial agreement, which may or may not be the case for Murdoch, unless there is a defective signing, ambiguity or fraud, the agreements are enforced as written, Stutman said.
However, there may have been several factors influencing Murdoch's decision to file in the Big Apple, Stutman said.
"This could have been required by a prenuptial agreement," Stutman said. "This could be because Mr. Murdoch knows that New York will be a friendly venue for the pre-nuptial agreement. It could be that he knows an 82-year old father of two children will be given a fair shake in terms of legal decision making and time with his children. Perhaps it is simply the fact that he likes his lawyer who practices in New York."