Rupert Murdoch on Wendi Deng: ‘My Wife is Very Tough’ [Video]

In a rare joint interview Rupert Murdoch praises his wife and reveals his family speak Mandarin at home and only tell him things that he needs to know.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi Deng were true to character this Tuesday when she went from the socialite wife of a media mogul to a protective spouse with a ‘steady right hook,’ according to Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff.

“I thought, ‘That’s our Rupert and that’s our Wendi,'” Wolff told ABC News of his reaction to the couple’s behavior during the otherwise solemn parliamentary hearing. “She’s kind of fearless, actually,” he said of Wendi Deng Murdoch.

Remember that in an unexpected twist of events at the hearing on Tuesday in which Murdoch and son James were peppered with questions about allegations of ‘News of The World’ phone hacking, Murdoch’s wife was the first to jump to her husband’s side as an attacker threw what looked like a shaving-cream pie in Rupert’s face.

Above you can check the interview with Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng took place on Chinese TV programme Dialogue on June 27, ahead of his appearance on Tuesday at a Select Committee of MPs investigating phone hacking. It was the first time the couple had accepted an interview together.

The 80-year-old media mogul said it was when Ms Deng acted as his interpreter during a business trip to China in 1998 that he fell in love with her. “Who wouldn’t fall in love with such a beautiful woman like her?” asked Mr Murdoch.

The pair married in 1999 after Mr Murdoch divorced his wife of 31 years. The couple have two children together, Grace and Chloe. “She has taught our two little girls to speak perfect mandarin,” said Mr Murdoch. “Everybody at home speaks mandarin except me. So they only tell me what they think I need to know.”

Ms Deng admitted to being very strict at home. “In Chinese culture, if I am strict to you and criticise you, it means I love you.”  To which Mr Murdoch replied: “Oh yes, she is very tough, very tough.”

Ms Deng, the daughter of a factory director in Guangzhou, China, joined News Corp’s Star TV as an intern in 1996, shortly after earning an MBA from Yale.

Born in the northeastern province of Shandong in China, Deng traveled to California in 1988 at the age of 18 after working as an interpreter in China for a Los Angeles couple, Jake and Joyce Cherry. She stayed in the United States, under a visa sponsored by the Cherrys, to work and to study.

Deng eventually became romantically involved with Jake Cherry and, when the Cherry’s marriage ended, Deng and Jake married, only to divorce less than three years later.

“The husband was much more in love with Wendi than Wendi was with the husband,” Steve Fishman, contributing editor for New York Magazine told ABC News. Deng’s love affair with Murdoch began under a cloud of scandal as well.

The couple met in 1989, when Deng was living in Hong Kong and working for Murdoch’s Star TV. They were married in June of 1999, 17 days after his divorce from his second wife of 31 years, Anna Murdoch, was finalized.

“She was interested in his business and he’s flattered and says he wants to get to know her,” Fishman said of how the couple’s relationship grew.

The couple have two young daughters together, Grace and Chloe. Murdoch has four grown children, Prudence from his first marriage and Lachlan, James and Elisabeth from his second marriage to Anna. [via The Telegraph (UK) and ABC News]

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