News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch files for divorce from wife Wendi

Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:45pm EDT
 
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By Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - News Corp. Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from his wife Wendi, the company confirmed on Thursday, just days before News Corp. itself splits into two.

The reasons for the filing were not immediately clear, though a spokesman for Murdoch said the marriage had been irretrievably broken for more than six months. Murdoch, 82, married the former Wendi Deng, 44, in 1999.

The filing comes just days before the split of News Corp. into two companies, one for its entertainment assets and the other for its publishing business. Murdoch, who Forbes says is worth $9.4 billion, is to be chairman of both companies.

Analysts said the end of the Murdochs' marriage was unlikely to have an effect on the corporate split.

"I doubt it has a substantial impact on the spin," Gabelli & Co. analyst Brett Harriss said, referring to the News Corp. separation. "Given that it's his third wife, I see it unlikely that he didn't plan for this contingency."

A person familiar with the situation said Murdoch and Deng had a prenuptial agreement, though it was not clear which one would move out of the couple's Upper East Side apartment in New York City.

Murdoch and Deng have two young daughters, Grace and Chloe. Murdoch has four grown children, Prudence from his first marriage and Lachlan, James and Elisabeth from his second. News Corp. shares were unchanged in midday trading.

Ira Garr, an attorney listed as representing Murdoch, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.   Continued...

 
Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation, arrives with his wife Wendi Deng at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California in this February 24, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File