When the world found out Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng were getting a divorce after roughly 14 years of marriage, the shocked masses looked for a possible reason the two lovebirds who looked rock-solid on the outside would split. Turns out, it may be a simple...lack of understanding.
There was that ugly rumor of an affair with former Prime Minister Tony Blair that seemed to have legs in the immediate wake of the divorce news. But lo, thanks to The Daily Beast's Tina Brown, we have a different interpretation of their relationship: "I don’t understand a word she says," Murdoch allegedly told a friend around 2009, after a decade of marriage. You'd think Murdoch would have picked up on this problem before the couple was already married ten years. If he could barely understand her, what were their famous dinner parties really like?
Brown reports that Murdoch, now a swingin' single on the upstate New York party circuit, grew to see Deng, his third wife, as a "hyper-social irritation with a challenging Chinese accent," before the split. But Brown's reporting does seem to line up with Michael Wolf saying that the couple drifted apart around 2008 or 2009 after she started to get around with "jet-set" types.
That means Murdoch grew tired of hearing about how Deng is an excellent networker with potential media-mogul aspirations of her own in the glowing profiles that came in the later years of their marriage. Those endorsements were almost a complete turnaround from the first half of their matrimonial life, when Deng was routinely called a "gold-digger." But all good things must end, and it seems Murdoch just couldn't understand what his wife, who is 38 years his junior, was saying the whole time they were married.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.