Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from Wendi Deng because their marriage has “irretrievably broken down”, his spokesperson has confirmed.
The couple were married in 1999 in a twilight ceremony onboard his private yacht, the Morning Glory, in New York Harbour, and have two daughters together, Grace and Chloe.
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Wendi, 44, made headlines in 2011 when she famously leapt to her husband”s defense and slapped a protestor who threw a pie at him as he was being questioned by MPs over the phone hacking scandal.
News Corps boss Rupert, 82, met his Chinese wife in 1997 at a cocktail party in Hong Kong. They married two years later, weeks after his second divorce.
Wendi, born in China and educated at Yale, is 38 years younger than the Australian media mogul, who is estimated by Forbes to be worth £6bn ($9.4bn). She has been seen by many as a key player in his News Corps empire.
According to the BBC, the couple had a pre-nuptial agreement and have held shares in trust for their children.
Rupert is a father of six; he has a daughter Prudence from his first marriage to Patricia Booker, and sons Lachlan, James, and daughter Elizabeth from his second to Anna Torv. Rupert and Wendi welcomed their first child, Grace, in 2001, and Chloe in 2003.