Online news outlets and social media channels were abuzz last week over the news that media mogul Rupert Murdoch was filing for divorce from his wife of nearly 15 years.
According to news reports, Murdoch, 82, officially filed for divorce last Thursday from Wendi Deng Murdoch, 44, in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
While many of the details surrounding the divorce filing remain unknown, sources indicate that Murdoch’s filing stated that “the relationship between the husband and wife has broken down irretrievably.” The couple — who met at a cocktail party in Hong Kong in 1997 — have two children, ages 9 and 11.
Of course, one of the more popular topics of conversation concerning news of Murdoch’s impending split has to do with control of News Corp., the world’s second largest media conglomerate of which Murdoch is both CEO and chairman.
By most accounts, it appears as if Murdoch’s divorce will have very little impact of the control of News Corp., which owns Twentieth Century Fox, HarperCollins and the Wall Street Journal, among other notable interests.
That’s because Murdoch holds almost 40 percent of the voting shares of News Corp. in a separate family trust, while his four other children from two previous marriages all have equal shares in electing trustees.
As for Deng Murdoch and the couple’s two children, they all have a significant portion of non-voting shares in the company.
It should be noted that Murdoch’s divorce from his second wife back in 1999, cost him an estimated $1.2 billion in U.S. assets. It remains unclear whether Murdoch and Deng Murdoch executed a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage, in which case such important matters as property division and child support may have already been predetermined.
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Source: USA Today, “Rupert Murdoch files for divorce from Wendi Deng,” Ryan Nakashima, June 13, 2013