Who is Wendi Deng?
From a poor little Chinese girl to one of the most powerful women in media, Wendi Deng Murdoch proved yesterday that she is no trophy wife. When her husband was testifying in front of Parliament, a pie-thrower who tried to hit her husband with a face full of custard, was thwarted by a right hook from Wendi. The 6 foot tall woman’s reaction was quick and instinctively protective. The world now knows not to mess with Wendi. The next time anyone meets the chief of strategy for MySpace’s China operations, they’ll be a bit more cautious before doing anything that might not be in her or her family’s best interest.
Born in 1968 in Xuzhou, China, she was the third daughter of a factory manager. At the time, China had a one-child policy, and girl babies were usually killed or given up. Being members of China’s communist party, the Deng family were given a few party perks.
At age 19, while attending medical school in China, Wendi met an American couple, Jack and Joyce Cherry, who helped her learn English.
Shortly after the Cherrys moved back to southern California, Wendi dropped out of school, flew to the U.S. and moved in with Jack and Joyce.
Here’s where we see the beginning of the ambition that would take Wendi from growing up in a family with a collective monthly income of $43 to a $44 million penthouse in Manhattan and a billion-dollar fortune.
While living with the couple and studying economics at Cal State Northridge, Wendi began an affair with Jack. Jack divorced Joyce and immediately married Wendi. That marriage lasted two years – just long enough for Wendi to get her Bachelor’s degree, and green card and enter the MBA program at Yale.
In 1996, with MBA in hand, Wendi went to Hong Kong and became an intern at Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV. In 1998 while in London for a company business conference, Deng apparently made a very good impression on the boss. The following year Rupert divorced his wife of 30 years and married Deng. Like all younger second or third (or fourth) wives of wealthy men, the new bride staked her claim to the Murdoch fortune with the birth of the couple’s two daughters.
After yesterday’s defense of her husband, the woman just upped her ante as a Murdoch. It will be very interesting to see what happens when Rupert no longer runs the business.
Anyway, enjoy David Bowie – Little China Girl: