Nov 21, 2013

    Murdoch-Deng divorce soon to be finalised


    NEWS Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch is close to reaching a divorce settlement with Ms Wendi Deng after 14 years of marriage, a source said.

    They were scheduled to appear at the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan yesterday to finalise what is considered to be an amicable agreement, the source said. The couple have prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

    As part of the deal, Ms Deng, 44, is expected to keep the couple's apartment they once shared with their two young children, Grace and Chloe, on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, as well as their home in Beijing. The Murdochs purchased the Manhattan apartment for US$44 million in 2005.

    In Beijing, they own a siheyuan, a courtyard-style house near the Chinese capital's Forbidden City. Shortly after marrying, they transformed the house in an old hutong, or alley, into a sprawling oasis filled with works by Chinese artists.

    Mr Murdoch, 82, filed for divorce in June, seeking to end a marriage that had been irretrievably broken, according to his spokesman. He made the move weeks before he was set to split his media and entertainment empire into two separate companies.

    The divorce is not expected to affect the two companies - Ms Deng does not hold a stake in the family trust that controls News Corp and Fox.

    Grace and Chloe have stakes in the trust, but they do not hold voting rights.

    Mr Murdoch has four grown children, Prudence from his first marriage, and Lachlan, James and Elisabeth from his second. These four all have voting rights in the trust.

    The media mogul met Ms Deng in 1998 on a business trip to China, where she worked for a division of News Corp. They married a year later in New York Harbor aboard his 47m-tall sailing yacht, the Morning Glory. The boat has since been put up for sale.