Wendi Deng became an Internet sensation with the video of her leaping to husband Rupert Murdoch’s defense by smacking a protestor who threw a shaving-cream pie at the media mogul during a hearing.
Deng, 42, is a Yale grad born in China who has been married to Murdoch, 80, for more than 12 years. Here are five things to know about the woman behind the billionaire.
1. Quick Reflexes
How did she respond so quickly to the pie-thrower? Perhaps it’s her athletic background. She’s a former school volleyball champion, practices yoga and bikes.
2. Hollywood Ties
She counts Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Hugh Jackman among her friends and recently co-produced the Fox Searchlight film Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
3. Worked for the Boss
She met Murdoch while working as an intern at Star TV, part of News Corp., in 1996. “I had heard of him before but never seen him,” Deng told the China Daily in 2008. “My boss assigned me to introduce the Chinese market to him. He was very interested in Chinese culture and we talked a lot.”
4. Two Kids, Many Houses
The couple and their two daughters Grace, 10, and Chloe, 8, reside in a $ 44 million Fifth Avenue penthouse previously owned by Laurance S. Rockefeller. They also have homes in Los Angeles, London, Canberra, Australia, Carmel, Calif. and Centre Island, N.Y.
5. Older Men
This is not her first marriage with a much older man. She was 18 when she met her first husband, Jake Cherry, 48, who sponsored her on a study-abroad program in California. She lived with Cherry and his wife after meeting the couple in Hong Kong. After Jake and Joyce split up, she was married to Cherry for about three years.