Crikey says: tabloid turmoil for Rupert, Wendi, Tony
Crikey does its own ABC efficiency test: how does Aunty compare to its rivals? And insiders reveal the likely future for the Australia Network. Exposed: the "highly emotional and volatile" WikiLeaks Party. Victoria's looming constitutional crisis. News Corporation reports -- an earnings jump. And a blogger gets a writ from the Murdoch camp. Plus your weekly Follow Friday.
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So, let’s recap (warning: this gets a bit icky) …
In the days following Rupert Murdoch’s third divorce, rumours swirled that Wendi Deng and Tony Blair had an affair. Blair’s people went so far as to issue a statement denying it. Now, in the March issue of Vanity Fair, journalist Mark Seal reveals what are supposedly little notes Wendi Deng wrote to herself about her insatiable crush on the British PM:
“Oh, shit, oh, shit… 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 has really good legs [and] butt.”
In another note, Deng expresses relief that she didn’t get together with Google chairman Eric Schmidt:
“I’m not ever feel sad… about losing Eric… Plus he is really really ugly. Unattractive… and fat. Not stylish at all try to wear hip clothes.”
They’re not the only juicy morsel in the piece. Apparently life at the Murdoch-Deng household was rather dysfunctional, to the extent that Deng once sent poor ol’ Rupert to the hospital by pushing him over in a fit of anger (he reportedly told doctors he tripped).
What should we make of all this? Well, it’s hard to say. The story is highly damaging to Deng, raising questions of who has something to gain from painting her the villain. Deng has plenty of enemies — including within News Corporation — and has had former household staff dish the dirt on her before, primarily to Gawker.
Deng (and Blair) declined to be interviewed for the piece, not surprisingly. The divorced pair said in a joint statement:
“Given the complicated dynamics of our family, we made the decision early on in this process not to engage in public allegations or respond to negative claims.”
It’s a saga Rupert’s racy tabloids would have a field day with.