Guess Which World Leader ad an Affair With the Wife of Fox’s Rupert Murdoch?
Bombshell e-mails may have finally uncovered why Rupert Murdoch divorced his wife, Wendi Deng: infidelity with a major world leader. And that world leader was none other than former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Though Blair spent most of his time jetting around Africa and the Middle East after leaving office, he made sure he kept up with Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire owner of the News Corporation media group.
In 2011, the two men met in America — not long after Murdoch took the decision to close the News of the World. Afterwards, Blair teamed up with the tycoon’s wife, Wendi Deng, to make business trips to her native China. His overtures to the Chinese — to become an adviser to one of the country’s sovereign wealth funds — fell on stony ground. But he grew close to Deng.
The following year, he visited the attractive 43-year-old twice at her husband’s London home. Then, that August, he was spotted alone with her at a Mayfair club.
Deng was clearly smitten. In an email to herself around that time, she wrote of Blair’s loyal aide, Catherine Rimmer: ‘Katherine [sic] Rimmer does not like me because she does not want Tony gets [sic] in trouble with me.’
Next, Blair few out to see Deng at Murdoch’s 1,000-acre home near Carmel in California.
She told her husband nothing about Blair’s visit; instead she said that she was staying at the ranch with a girlfriend.
In fact, her friend had already left when the former Prime Minister arrived, and Deng had also told some of her staff to make themselves scarce — while Blair’s protection officers were quartered in a nearby hotel.
… While the Metropolitan Police were investigating phone-hacking practices at the News of the World, Murdoch’s team had sifted through millions of emails on his company computers.
During the course of this, emails from Deng were uncovered that suggested a close relationship with a tennis coach in Carmel, another with the founder of Google, Eric Schmidt — and a third with Tony Blair. It was left to one of Murdoch’s sons to show the messages to the ageing tycoon.
They made for unedifying reading. In one memo to herself, Deng had written: ‘Oh s***, oh s***. Whatever why I’m so so missing Tony. Because he is so charming and his clothes are so good.
‘He has such a good body and he had his really, really good legs Butt [sic] . . . and he is slim tall and good skin. Pierce blue eyes which I love. Love his eyes. Also I love his power on the stage . . . and what else what else what else . . .’
Other messages suggested that Blair had met Deng in New York, London and Beijing.
According to Murdoch, he then quizzed his servants in Carmel and learned that Blair had stayed overnight on April 27, 2013. Yet Blair had met him the following day in Los Angeles — to ask for money for his Faith Foundation — and hadn’t mentioned staying at the ranch or seeing Deng.
Murdoch’s staff told him the rest: during their meals, the couple had been seen feeding each other, and Blair had also been spotted joining Deng in her bedroom and closing the door.
Hours after the divorce was announced, Blair telephoned Murdoch, insisting he was innocent. But, after a brief conversation, the tycoon refused to take any more of his calls.
Blair nevertheless spoke regularly with Deng on the phone. With Cherie’s support, both he and Deng publicly denied there had ever been an affair. No one could definitively prove that there had — but Murdoch ridiculed Blair’s denials. And there can be no doubt that the former PM was damaged by global interest in the scandal.
Talk about a major scandal! And what a slap in the face — to spend the night with a man’s wife and then ask him for money the next day. Ouch.