Murdoch’s wife becomes internet sensation

July 20th, 2011 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 20 (IANS) Wendi Deng, the wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, became an instant hit on the internet after she quickly came to his aid when he was hit during a Commons hearing on the phone hacking scandal, the Telegraph reported.

Twitter was set alight with praise for 42-year-old Wendi, with comments suggesting she had made the hearing worth watching, it said.

Wendi, who came from middle-class China to marry one of the world’s most powerful media moguls, gave a dramatic stand-by-your-man display.

She was dubbed ‘Smack Down Sister’ on Chinese websites.

The Yale University business school graduate, yoga devotee and former News Corp employee reacted faster than anyone else seated around Murdoch, including his son James, when the incident took place.

The hearing in the News of the World phone hacking case by a British parliamentary panel was interrupted by a man throwing a shaving-cream pie at her 80-year-old husband.

She sprang from her seat behind her husband to smack the assailant, in a scene witnessed by millions around the world on television Tuesday.

Wendi made the embattled News Corp chief look vulnerable, and herself strong. Her reaction also helped to take some of the heat off of Murdoch who had looked tired.

“That’s our Wendi,” said Vanity Fair writer Michael Wolff, author of a Murdoch biography.

“She is great — incredibly full of energy, incredibly intelligent, living the life and just squeezing everything out of it,” Telegraph quoted Wolff as saying.

China’s enthusiastic microbloggers made the incident one of the most popular topics on the country’s Twitter-like service Weibo, although the hacking scandal had previously attracted relatively little media coverage, the report said.

Her actions have even generated a new online nickname for her in China — “Smack down sister”, it said.

“Her reactions were super-fast! She walks away as the only hero,” wrote Zhang Xin.

“When you marry, you should marry a Chinese woman. In times of danger, she will act,” added Loulan Loulan.

Wendi however has not taken to her own Weibo account to talk about what she did.

With 124,131 followers, her Weibo site is full of pictures of her with celebrities, and references to her “hubby”.

The daughter of a factory director in Guangzhou, China, Wendi joined News Corp’s Star TV as an intern in 1996, shortly after getting an MBA from Yale.

She met Murdoch in 1998 during a business trip to China. They got married in 1999 after he divorced his wife of 31 years, Telegraph said.

The couple have two children, Grace and Chloe. Murdoch has four grown children, Prudence from his first marriage and Lachlan, James and Elisabeth from his second.

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