Video: Wendi Murdoch to the rescue

  1. Closed captioning of: Wendi Murdoch to the rescue

    >>> and there was that startling moment during the hearing today when a guy attacked rupert murdoch with a cream pie and then murdoch 's wife got up and took a roundhouse swing at the attacker. that kind of fierce devotion and protection seemed familiar to those familiar with wendy murdoch . nbc's andrea mitchell has more on the wife of rupert murdoch .

    >> reporter: she responded in a flash, leaping forward to protect her husband from an attacker. instinctive, fierce, athletic. a former volleyball player in school. all that, plus a lot more. the young, glamorous, chinese-born third wife of rupert murdoch .

    >> i think all the people are movers and shakers here.

    >> reporter: for hours, all through her husband's grueling testimony today, wendy murdoch was right behind him, willing him on, clearly ready to respond.

    >> watching him so carefully, she was the first to be able to get up and, before the police or before anyone else, swat away this aggressor.

    >> reporter: now, 42, wendy murdoch has been married to the 80-year-old media baron for 12 years since meeting him as a young executive for one of his tv operations in hong kong . the union was controversial at first. rupert murdoch now 102-year-old mother called her new daughter-in-law a designing woman, especially after she challenged her husband's adult children, fighting for their two young daughters to get a stake in the company. murdoch with charlie rose .

    >> we try to combine the best of chinese and best of american method to teach them.

    >> reporter: and her history, coming to the u.s. on a student visa and then marries her first husband, a man with his then-wife had sponsored her. as first reported in the " wall street journal ."

    >> what ended up happening is wendy , who was a teenager at the time, had an affair with the father of her sort of adopted father. and the two of them ended up getting married for long enough for her to get a green card .

    >> reporter: now wendy is widely viewed as an important asset to murdoch . helping represent his business interests in china and easing his way through social and charitable circles.

    >> this is someone what was the daughter of someone that ran a factory in china and made it to yale and a successful business career as well as this very high-profile marriage.

    >> reporter: those that know wendy murdoch say she's unstoppable. whatever happens to her husband she and her children will have a secure future. brian?

    >> andrea mitchell rounding out our coverage. thanks.

msnbc.com
updated 7/19/2011 7:22:34 PM ET 2011-07-19T23:22:34

Tiger wife. Power vegan. Volleyball champ. The spouse of media mogul Rupert Murdoch is no pushover.

Murdoch's 42-year-old wife, Wendi Deng, who had been sitting right behind her husband during an inquisition with the House of Commons Select Committee on Tuesday, leaped forward to smack a protester from smashing a pie into her husband's face.

The protester, covered in white foam, was hauled away and the session was suspended.

No sooner had Deng straightened her pink couture jacket and polka dot pencil skirt, Twitter messages buzzed worldwide, ranging from “Go Wendi” to “Wendi Deng. Tiger Wife!”

The chairman of the parliamentary committee even commented on her defense skill: "Mr. Murdoch, your wife has a very good left hook," The Hollywood Reporter reported.

Murdoch and his son, James Murdoch, had spent the day repeatedly telling British lawmakers that they were not responsible for a phone hacking scandal that has rocked the Murdoch empire.

Story: Murdochs, Brooks apologetic — and on defensive
Image:
Parbul  /  AFP - Getty Images
News Corporation Chief Rupert Murdoch, front right, and his son James giving evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee on the phone hacking scandal. Murdoch's wife, Wendi Deng, is in pink.

Details emerged of the woman behind the power hit.

  • Deng was born in Shandong, China, in 1968 to engineer parents. She was named Wen Ge, which is shorthand for "Cultural Revolution."
  • She played volleyball in China.
  • She married Jake Cherry, who along with his first wife had sponsored her student visa in 1988, The Business Insider reported. They divorced years later.
  • She studied at Cal State before earning an MBA from Yale University.
  • She worked in Hong Kong at Star Television, which is owned by Murdoch's News Corp
  • Deng met Murdoch at a News Corp. party in Hong Kong in 1997. They married in 1999, weeks after his former marriage was dissolved.
  • News Corp. paid Deng $92,000 in 2010 for "strategic advice" on MySpace's expansion into China, according to the Insider.
  • Deng is Murdoch's third wife, and they live in Manhattan. They have two daughters, Grace and Chloe.
  • She is co-founder and co-CEO of the film production company Big Feet Productions.
  • She produced the film “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” which opened last week. At a weekend showing at the Southampton UA theater that Deng hosted, guests included Barbara Walters, Rudy Giuliani and designer Tori Burch.

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Data: Who's who in the UK phone hacking scandal

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