Journalist Mark Seal’s long Vanity Fair profile of Wendi Deng, the 45-year-old ex-wife of News Corporation titan Rupert Murdoch, reveals how the couple splintered over Deng’s newfound desire for the company of famous men—and, apparently, her penchant for elder abuse.
In the full profile, currently available through the magazine’s iOS app, Seal recounts a “pattern” of Deng’s “verbal abuse” against her traveling staff that later enveloped her own 82-year-old husband and allegedly became physical:
It allegedly had gotten physical in early 2011, in [the Murdoch’s] triplex on Fifth Avenue in New York. “[Deng] got angry at [Murdoch] 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 incident followed another (alleged) outburst at News Corp.’s London headquarters, where staffers observed Deng screaming at her husband, “Fuck you, Rupert! You’re stupid! What are you going to do when I’m gone?”
These revelations aren’t totally suprising. As Gawker reported in 2012, the Murdochs’ ex-nanny, Ying-Shu Hsu, endured a war-zone-like atmosphere while working for Deng, who frequently swore at Hsu, the Murdoch children, and her husband Rupert. Hsu told Gawker that Deng “curse[d] Rupert all the time. A lot of F-words. She’s always yelling, crying.” (Hsu also noted that Deng and Murdoch slept in separate beds.)
Seal ends his profile with another semi-salacious excerpt of the infamous “note” in which Deng confessed her attraction to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. It turns out she also discussed her feelings toward Google CEO Eric Schmidt, with whom Deng was seen last summer:
In the aforementioned note to herself, Wendi wrote, “Eric fucks Lisa,” presumably referring to Eric Schmidt and Lisa Shields, vice president of media affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations, whom Schmidt reportedly dated. “Lisa will never have my style, grace .... I achieved my purpose of Eric saw me looking so gorgeous and so fantastic and so young, so cool, so chic, so stylish, so funny and he cannot have me. I’m not ever feel sad ... about losing Eric .... Plus he is really really ugly. Unattractive ... and fat. Not stylish at all try to wear hip clothes .... I’m so so soo soooo happy I’m not with him.”
We’ve reached out to News Corp for comment, and will update if we hear back.
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