The divorce of Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng has not come as a “huge surprise” to those who know the couple well.
Although few outsiders would have guessed there was anything amiss in the octogenarian’s relationship with his 44-year-old bride, people close to the fiercely protective clan have told The Daily Beast that the two had been “sleeping in separate rooms” for some time and that it was widely suspected that all was not well in the marriage.
At the beginning of the relationship, Murdoch had shocked those around him by appearing love-struck and puppyish around Deng, but in recent months and years that pink cloud had very much worn off. Murdoch appeared to be increasingly irritated by his wife, despite her valiant efforts to protect him from a pie-throwing protester when he appeared to give evidence in the phone-hacking hearings in Parliament.
“They have basically been living separate lives for some time,” says a person who knows the family well. “They have been sleeping in separate rooms.”
Although a prenuptial agreement was reportedly in place, there is a feeling among Murdoch’s camp that Deng will not go down without a fight, and the two are thought to be squaring up for the mother of all court battles.
“It’s not going to look very pretty,” said a source.
Murdoch’s previous divorce cost a record $1.7 billion.