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Rupert Murdoch And Wife Wendi Are Divorcing

Rupert and Wendi Deng Murdoch at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in West Hollywood on Feb. 24.
Hubert Boesl
Rupert and Wendi Deng Murdoch at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in West Hollywood on Feb. 24.

Two years after she leaped to his defense with the "head slap seen 'round the world," Wendi and Rupert Murdoch are apparently splitting up.

NPR's David Folkenflik tweets that a News Corp. spokesman confirms the report from Deadline Hollywood that the billionaire media mogul "has filed for divorce from wife Wendi Deng Murdoch."

As that website reminds its readers:

"The couple met in 1997, at a company party in Hong Kong. They married in 1999, less than a month after his divorce from ex-wife Anna Maria Torv Murdoch Mann was finalized."

Two-Way readers may well recall the moment in July 2011 when Rupert Murdoch, now 82, was testifying before a government panel in London about the "hacking scandal" that had engulfed some of his tabloids in the U.K. A man approached with a plate of shaving cream, ready to stick it in Murdoch's face. That's when Wendi Murdoch, now 44, jumped from a seat behind her husband to deliver a blow to the would-be creamer's head.

The video, as you can imagine, went viral.

Rupert and Wendi Murdoch have two daughters. He has four children from two previous marriages.

Update at 1:10 p.m. ET. Family Finances.

NPR's David Folkenflik sends along this note:

Murdoch and a family trust control just shy of 40 percent of voting stock of both the new News Corp and 21st Century Fox (the successor companies to News Corp). Several years ago, Murdoch agreed to include his two daughters with Wendi Deng, Grace and Chloe, in the family trust. But he did not give them voting powers. That means the corporate power remains with his adult children, though Wendi's girls will share the family fortune.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.