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Seduced and Abandoned
March 3, 2014 6:22 PM   Subscribe


 
Gosh, I feel so bad for neither of them.
posted by uosuaq at 6:24 PM on March 3 [75 favorites]


Because enquiring Metafilter minds want to know.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:26 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


(The 14-year marriage of Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng ended abruptly last year, after the News Corp. chairman came to believe his third wife had been romantically involved with a former head of state and with a prominent Silicon Valley executive.

Blair was head of government, not head of state.)
posted by Thing at 6:27 PM on March 3 [9 favorites]


*sigh*

Really thought those two crazy kids were gonna make it.
posted by codswallop at 6:29 PM on March 3 [9 favorites]


Communism was just a Red Herring
posted by Insurance Hitman at 6:33 PM on March 3 [6 favorites]


Sun Blue
posted by edgeways at 6:45 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


So far it seems like there's lots of evidence that Deng wanted to have an affair with Blair, but nothing suggesting the reverse.

Not that we should really give a shit about the private lives of these people anyway.
posted by modernnomad at 6:48 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


We all die alone. Sorry, Ruprecht.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:53 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


it probably won't happen any time soon, but this is one love affair that feels destined to become an opera, possibly two.
posted by philip-random at 6:53 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I started to read this, then I started to feel like awful for reading it. While I wish nothing positive for Murdoch, his private life isn't my business.
posted by el io at 7:02 PM on March 3 [9 favorites]


While I wish nothing positive for Murdoch, his private life isn't my business.

If only his newspapers felt the same way about people's private lives, heh?
posted by Jimbob at 7:05 PM on March 3 [71 favorites]


This is gay marriage's fault, right?
posted by Flunkie at 7:13 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]




Might as well go all out and link Gawker and Valleywag on Wendi Deng. "Murdoch’s Ex-Wife Is a Chinese Spy Says Animatronic Dinosaur Guy" is a particularly well-turned headline.
posted by Nelson at 7:20 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Berkshire guy:

When you get these lollapalooza effects you will almost always find four or five of these things working together.

When I was young there was a whodunit hero who always said, “Cherche la femme.” [In French, "Look for the woman."] What you should search for in life is the combination, because the combination is likely to do you in.

Because, honestly, does Faux News make sense unless it is a conspiracy?
posted by sieve a bull at 7:23 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


"Eric Schmidt, home wrecker" was not a phrase I was expecting to have today or any day.
posted by jadepearl at 7:28 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


In Schmidt's space, no one can hear you scream
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:45 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]




Tawdry.
posted by Catblack at 7:57 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


The possibility of anyone sighing like a lovesick tween over Tony Blair is just baffling. Michael Sheen as Tony Blair, okay, I can see that. But the guy himself?
posted by orrnyereg at 8:05 PM on March 3 [8 favorites]


Yeah...every time I started to feel bad about thinking how great it was that old man was getting a bit of his own medicine, I remembered he was getting a bit of his own medicine. Not like Murdoch hasn't made a point of pulling peoples private lives into the fray if he could fuck them over with it.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
posted by kjs3 at 8:06 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I felt sorry for Rupert Murdoch reading this. Such a hard thing to own to, but there you go.
posted by Thing at 8:13 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Also (hilariously) apropos, courtesy of Taz.
posted by Pudhoho at 8:15 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I only heard about the Blair-Deng thing recently, and it's one of those bits that makes you go "okay, am I living in reality or someone's script?"
posted by tavella at 8:16 PM on March 3


She's gotta care about the old coot a wee bit. Remember when she went after the pie man?
posted by Scram at 8:19 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Close shave.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:21 PM on March 3


She sounds like a terrible woman. If yanking pony-tails and squeaky voice things combined with bossy orders and f-bombs is what attracts right and powerful men, I have been doing it wrong all my life. This explains why I'm poor.
posted by dabitch at 8:24 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


It's sort of fascinating to read so much about someone and just not have any insight into how their mind works, at all. A strange and remarkable woman.
posted by Diablevert at 8:35 PM on March 3


*right = rich

Autocorrect wants to ruin my life.
posted by dabitch at 8:41 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I thought the buried lede here was the elder abuse allegation on page seven. He would have been, what, 79 or so then?
It allegedly had gotten physical in early 2011, in the triplex on Fifth Avenue in New York. “She got angry at him and shoved him, and he fell backwards into the piano in the living room and then onto the floor, and he couldn’t get up,” says an individual to whom Rupert confided at the time. “He had to have emergency treatment that night.”

The former News Corp. employee in the U.K. adds, “He clearly hurt himself, and he made some excuse that he tripped over something in the office. He made excuses that he wasn’t well. He only talked about what happened later.” The source continues, “Ultimately, he just wanted to get through and not have any problem in the marriage made public. Because he wanted to have the children protected and believe they were in a nice, happy home.”
Guess it can't buy happiness afterall. "Else small aid is wealth / for daily gladness; once a man be done / with hunger, rich and poor are all as one."
posted by curious.jp at 9:08 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


What a tired, exhausted characterization of women: gold diggers, opportunitistic, maneaters only after money, swindling these poor, innocent men. Ha.

Also, if the Jackmans say they're good people, I believe them. This is a really gross story.

I wish they would just run that story on how Gwyneth Paltrow is a self absorbed idiot.
posted by discopolo at 9:23 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


What goes around comes around. Murdoch is a nasty piece of filth and sure enough, he surrounds himself with nasty filth. Oh well.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:28 PM on March 3


discopolo: "What a tired, exhausted characterization of women: gold diggers, opportunitistic, maneaters only after money, swindling these poor, innocent men. Ha."

You're right. Wendi Deng is clearly a wonderful woman.

Or a stopped clock is right twice a day.
posted by Bugbread at 9:49 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I'm appalled, but mostly at the way the appeal of petty interpersonal grubbiness has yet again proved irresistible even to those I would have expected to have more awareness about these things.

Way I see it, if I spend more than about twenty seconds pondering Rupert Murdoch's marriage, the terrorists have won.
posted by flabdablet at 9:51 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


An unsubltle Chinese gold-digger up from nothing tweaking the noses and other body parts of some of the wealthiest and most powerful Western men in existence. Is that what's bothering you, bunkie?
posted by telstar at 9:56 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


“All the Shanghai Girls said, ‘She married a billionaire and got a private jet.’ People in other places say, ‘Oh, what a gold digger.’ But in Shanghai they say: ‘Absolute success story! Most of all, she got the opportunity.’

It's interesting to see the "success at any cost" mentality of China illustrated on a macro level in the previous post on China's pollution, and on a relatively micro level in this post. Which is even worse, since it's combined with a very narrow definition of success, based mostly on being rich and knowing rich and powerful people. It's also interesting, because one plays into the other. Part of the definition of the Chinese success story is moving out of China to a Western country, partially to escape the terrible pollution. (I've also been personally seeing this happen, noticing there's a lot more Mainland Chinese living in SoCal now then around 2000)

I don't think this is a special problem particular to women from China though, more of Mainland Chinese society in general.
posted by FJT at 9:59 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Given the level of spying going on everywhere, I'm kind of heartened Rupert Murdoch's wife and the head of Britain's government could have an affair and no one know for several years. Sort of restores my faith in the invisibility of mankind.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:24 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


Might as well go all out and link Gawker and Valleywag on Wendi Deng. "Murdoch’s Ex-Wife Is a Chinese Spy Says Animatronic Dinosaur Guy" is a particularly well-turned headline.


a headline that was somehow NOT directly referencing Murdoch. zing.
posted by ninjew at 10:40 PM on March 3


A comment to the article: "I can't believe I read the whole thing."
posted by Anitanola at 11:33 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


swindling these poor, innocent men. Ha.

I doubt anyone here regards Rupert Murdoch as a poor, innocent man.
posted by Jimbob at 12:09 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


Eric Schmidt

Wow, she must have a thing for bald and bespectacled billionaires.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:18 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


“Oh, shit, oh, shit,” she wrote. “Whatever why I’m so so missing Tony. Because he is so so charming and his clothes are so good. He has such good body and he has really really good legs Butt . . . And he is slim tall and good skin. Pierce blue eyes which I love. Love his eyes. Also I love his power on the stage . . . and what else and what else and what else . . . ”

It's like pitch perfect Tony Blair fan fiction.
posted by chavenet at 2:10 AM on March 4 [11 favorites]


So was Deng fucking Blair while Murdoch was fucking Rebeccah Brooks?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:46 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


Murdoch was fucking Rebeccah Brooks?

Ew no I'm out of here.
posted by Jimbob at 3:04 AM on March 4


It's like pitch perfect Tony Blair fan fiction.

well, just to get a sense of the possibilities, there's this:
Tony Blair feels that something has changed between them. Bound to the etiquette, there will never be such a thing as friendship between them. Still, Blair knows that they will be able to understand and to respect each other from now on. He feels completely relaxes as he walks next to the Queen in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, surrounded by a pack of barking dogs.
posted by ennui.bz at 3:40 AM on March 4


Wow, that whole daddy-thing from House of Cards (UK version) just got a new spin with Brooks.
posted by jadepearl at 3:44 AM on March 4 [3 favorites]


It's interesting to see the "success at any cost" mentality of China...

No, it isn't. This is the wrong website for musings of that nature.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:58 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


How is Tony Blair able to sneak away for trysts 6000 miles away with no one noticing his absence from the UK?

Also, can we exile everyone involved to Dirgadirgastan?
posted by spitbull at 4:13 AM on March 4


Also, reading about any of this in Vanity Fair or on Gawker media sites is like watching a documentary about porn production made by a porn company.
posted by spitbull at 4:16 AM on March 4


Wow, that whole daddy-thing from House of Cards (UK version) just got a new spin with Brooks.

What a great show.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:24 AM on March 4 [4 favorites]


How is Tony Blair able to sneak away for trysts 6000 miles away with no one noticing his absence from the UK?

Since Blair retired from politics he's been trotting about promoting peace in the Middle East so nobody would expect to see him in England all that much. Given that he seems to have spent much of that time spodging Deng it's obvious why Syria is in such a state.
posted by Thing at 4:54 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


Most of it just seems really tawdry and I felt dirty just reading the article. But at the same time, these are public people who have serious impact on policy and laws, and it's so depressing to see them behaving worse than your average reality tv star. It's not so much that I expect better -- I don't, at all -- it's that along with our wild wealth inequality has come unequal access to power and the creation of family dynasties. So now "politics" means the Clinton vs Bush families, or Murdoch/Blair/etc, which means that their tawdry family crises have geopolitical impact and meaning.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:05 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


Given the level of spying going on everywhere, I'm kind of heartened Rupert Murdoch's wife and the head of Britain's government could have an affair and no one know for several years. Sort of restores my faith in the invisibility of mankind.

That there were no media leaks about the affair does not mean that no one in the NSA or other spying agencies didn't know about the affair. The eavesdropping is done to gather intel, which is not typically shared with the world. That's how an intel agency maintains its edge, after all ... knowing what others don't, and using that information craftily at an opportune moment for some advantage, whether perceived or real.
posted by Azaadistani at 6:11 AM on March 4


Remove the insane amounts of money, and you're looking at a situation right out of high school.
posted by Mooski at 6:15 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


this is one love affair that feels destined to become an opera, possibly two.

Given that the story needs to be read with Josie Ho's "Watch You Going Down" playing in the background, I'm going to hope she turns it into a rockumentary.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:29 AM on March 4


Given that the story needs to be read with Josie Ho's "Watch You Going Down" playing in the background, I'm going to hope she turns it into a rockumentary.

Perhaps the person to adapt it would be none other than Blair's Number 10 guest Damon Albarn, who has experience in both Chinese opera and retro-styled Mod-geezer rock?
posted by acb at 7:11 AM on March 4


So she got sponsored to study in America by a nice family, ruined that family and married the husband, dropped that husband and hooked up with Murdoch, and now ditched Murdoch for Blair. She must be a master at massaging the male ego.... among other things... but seriously she's not Helen of Troy, my guess is she's able to make (weak but powerful) men feel even more powerful. It says as much about the men as it does about her to be honest. Either she's that good or they're that needy, or both.

Who's next? I'm taking bets now.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:02 AM on March 4 [4 favorites]


You know, I am going to go with a different angle. The reason this story gets traction is because it is an old narrative: Wealthy, older man with younger, ambitious woman. It has all the makings for an epic including dynastic power struggles, money, powerful people, government folk, scorned woman, vengeance of serving staff and all that.

But let us look at it from the perspective of power and details that niggle me:

* why would you write such a personal note in a language anyone could read, i.e., English, if you are Chinese?

* why write such a badly written note if you have a freaking MBA from Yale?

* why for a woman, experienced in managing various liaisons and relationships decide to carry on affairs recklessly with witnesses (staff)?

* if you are aware that, through various sources, that cell phones, email and various channels of communication are monitored by the press, business rivals and governmental entities (your husband is political player in more than one arena and you entertain heads of state), you would write a note filled with high school level jealousy that can be found?

This article is fascinating is that it is a patchwork of old information (relationships with Cherry and Wolf); un-named sources representing staff and those "close" to the Murdoch team; inferences of collaborators in the affairs, who could not possibly comment; coincidences of presence in locations with other people that we should infer bunga-bunga; descriptions of elder abuse and cruelty to staff including a thrown phone in St. Barth's (who is she Naomi Campbell?).

To get this kind of information you would need people willing to provide confidential information such as, Wendi Deng's schedule book, if not some private communication amongst her staff in addition to hotel and travel records. Did I mention the private thoughts of various Murdoch family members (nice of them to insert Dame Murdoch's warning to her son that he would be easy pickings if he got divorced from Anna.) Notice that it is only powerful men and no one "inferior" i.e., cabana boy from St. Barth's.

Now, I can ask whether there are deeper motives:

1) Deng has not been the magic secret sauce that got Murdoch leverage in China;
2) Too much dynastic drama with Deng's demands to change the trust and potential future changes;
3) Betrayal or indiscretion dealing with confidential information;
4) Distrust that she is loyal to no one but herself and that she would embarrass the Murdochs, in some manner, like whispered confidential information;
5) She would prove more expensive to divorce later and it needed to be done as a surprise;
6) Her business acumen is horrible and would cost Murdoch more money;
7) Full on tinfoil, she is an agent for a foreign power.

Of course, I could be other thinking this plate of pot boiler beans but the narrative is just too well constructed but then again, personal motivations and feelings fuel most of human behavior.
posted by jadepearl at 8:17 AM on March 4 [3 favorites]


I find it a tad odd that Murdoch, and his staff, were all unaware of Deng having been sponsored by the Cherry family, and her marrying Jake Cherry. How did they miss that?

I also find it odd that she needed to be "sponsored" by anyone if she went to california to study. You don't sponsor people for student visas. You sponsor spouses or employees.
posted by dabitch at 8:29 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


NYMag: The Boy Who Wouldn't Be King has the same info (in fact a lot of the same info). I'm just noting this oddness because I too studied in the US but I didn't have a sponsor because they're not required for student visas. /derail
posted by dabitch at 8:50 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


No, it isn't. This is the wrong website for musings of that nature.

Vanity Fair? Or Metafilter?
posted by FJT at 11:24 AM on March 4


I'm surprised it took him so long to find out. I'd imagine he already had Blair's phone tapped...
posted by stenseng at 1:55 PM on March 4 [2 favorites]


Something I don't understand: according to the article, Deng was responsible for the MySpace mess-up, but at the end it says she had stock in Facebook early on and will do well from it. So who was responsible for losing half a billion dollars on MySpace, Wendi or Rupert? I mean, Rupert is out the cash but was the deal Wendi's?

(Whatever the answer, I suspect Deng is not as tech-savvy as she claims to be and I wouldn't be surprised to see that $14M vanish in a couple of years leaving Ms.Deng to go husband-hunting in cougar country.)
posted by CCBC at 4:13 PM on March 4


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