Aussie newspaper kills story about Rupert Murdoch's wife

Rupert and Wendi like the limelight not the spotlight.

The following article is republished with permission from the author. It was originally published on the excellent Australian media, politics and gossip website Crikey (subscription required).

The image to the left of Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi Deng is from the, a Chinese language fan site for Deng with the slogan 'She, a woman who has already worked miracles, might she be the future Queen of Media?'

Fairfax kills vast profile of Murdoch's wife

By Jane Nethercote

Here's one crackerjack cover story you won't be reading in Good Weekend magazine any time soon – the revealing inside account of the life and times of Wendi Deng.

That's because the story, a vast 10,000-word profile that took its writer three months of research across the world, was killed by Good Weekend's editor (or someone above her) two days ago.

Crikey has learned that Good Weekend editor Judith Whelan commissioned Eric Ellis, a highly regarded Australian journalist based in Singapore (who works as Fortune magazine's South East Asia correspondent) several months ago to write the definitive story of Wendi Deng, the Chinese-born wife of Rupert Murdoch.

Ellis spent three months on the assignment, travelling to London, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and to Xuzhou in Jiang Su province where the young Wendi Deng started her eventful life. Crikey understands he talked to dozens of people, including the ex-wife of Deng's older first husband, Murdoch watchers, current and former executives and Wendi's school friends and teachers.

The sheer logistics and ambition of the task suggest it was one of the most expensive and ambitious projects ever undertaken by the Good Weekend for a single feature.

The story is believed to be the most detailed account ever written about one of the world's most interesting and – through her marriage – most powerful women. It follows a provocative Wall Street Journal profile of Deng in 2000, titled "Rupert Murdoch's Wife Wendi Wields Influence at News Corp", which caused a furore within Murdoch family circles because of the information it revealed about the genesis of the Rupert-Wendi relationship and the sensitive area of the breakdown of Murdoch's 31-year marriage to Anna, the mother of Elisabeth, Lachlan and James.

Last year, Hong Kong's Next Magazine investigated Deng's early years, interviewing teachers, friends and classmates, dredging up some embarrassing childhood snippets (as noted in The AFR). "She had many talents -- basketball, badminton, volleyball", said teacher Zhang Shan Li. "Academic ability was just above average."

Neither Wendi nor Rupert talked to Ellis for the spiked Good Weekend interview, Crikey understands.

After receiving the story several weeks ago, editor Judith Whelan this week decided not to publish – although Crikey is unaware whether Fairfax senior executives or board members were consulted in making the decision. But given its enormous sensitivity, not to mention the fact that News Limited is currently a 7.5% shareholder in Fairfax, it seems almost impossible to believe that the most senior figures at Fairfax were not consulted in the decision to kill the story.

We sought further information this morning from Whelan but she said she had a strict policy of not commenting on Good Weekend's story list. And the globe-trotting Eric Ellis also had a staunch "no comment".

• Asia Sentinel has published an article about this affair, but it's essentially just a rewrite of the Crikey piece.

There are currently 14 Comments for Aussie newspaper kills story about Rupert Murdoch's wife.

Comments on Aussie newspaper kills story about Rupert Murdoch's wife

Surely some other media outlet will snap up this story if it's as meaty as it sounds... By the way, Wendi's real name is 邓文革 Deng Wenge (Cultural Revolution Deng), according to her Wikipedia entry...



She's just like my aunt but raised to some insane power...

How could I talk about my aunt like that!!??

Because I don't care for her or this Deng lady... PWNED!

She's pimping these old dudes I give you that...

The Hong Kong Next Magazine :

Jesus, that ugly old bugger certainly knows how to punch above his weight!

Not really, he's got money. Rich dudes tend to do that cuz they can.

And Deng She's not "all that" IMHO. She is what she is, her entire look is the "i'm willing to do anything to get ahead" + "gold digga" look...I know her type well, she knows how to say the right thing, do the right things to completely entrap someone. Look at it this way, Murdoch is a billionaire, he can get any bomb shell that he so desires, but why pick Deng? Cuz Deng knows how to play the game dirty...

Another probing piece on Murdoch (published widely on the net) wasn't "noticed" in his homeland. (See It likened Rupe to a Global Goebbells, but this is a bit of a stretch.

Magda Goebbells poisoned her children. The Murdoch's have only poisoned the media-scape.

I first heard about her when my Chinese friend told me my Chinese name was the same as hers, so then I began a bit of investigating on her out of curiosity and it blew me away. The whole relationship just seems really strange, and I'm sure there's something more to it...why all the secrecy about her? (my inner conspiracy theory feels she's got to be in with the CCP or something.) I want to read that article!!!

What a gold digger! When Rupert kicks the bucket this Beijing comrade will be in charge of the West's media! Good grief! What an ingenious plot by the Commies.

You know I just read that article and its Gooood! Its in and very revealing and paints her out to be a sly gold digger which is probably true - worth a read!!

Lots of Chinese young women chose to become language teachers to gain access to and be paired up/married to western men so they can get out of China and get to the West. Deng was no exception. She knew what she wanted and she went for it. The Cultural Revolution killed off the Chinese conscience. There are not clear cut rules for right and wrong, and so whoever can grab the most money is the winner. It will take a long time and many more generations of moral reform to get back what China once had-morality. I am a Chinese American and I truly understand how Deng became who she is, even if I cannot condone it. I feel very sad for Rupert's ex wife and his older children.

Leave it alone people. Stop judging Wendi Deng. She is a brilliant business woman. She is much smarter than you. She went to Yale. Let's see you get into Ivy League biz-nitches

deng is a tramp - she would never have married rupert murdoch had he been poor and even young. she is a sly gold digger - she does not even look beautiful. she is probably thrashy and probably he likes that. i feel so sorry for his first wife and their three children. evil witches like deng spoil the food family life for the real mrs murdoch. where are your morals deng - i guess you don't have any. you give chinese a very bad name!

My wish is that this WENDY woman does not forget her ethnic origin, in that she does not condone any ethnic slurs from her husband for fear of getting dumped and categorized as a silly poor Asian girl. I am happy for her for getting married to Mr. Murdoch but I will never stand it when he makes such hateful ethinic slurs and she just stands by and smile...I will never equate that as an Ivy League Status...She should be smarter than that.

Stop judging Wendi Deng,Please!!!She is a good, smart,brave,brilliant chinese woman,I hope she is successful anywhere!!

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