Rupert goes to Spiltsville

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Rupert Murdoch, the 82-year-old billionaire chairman of News Corp. (NWSA), filed for divorce from his third wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, who famously defended him from a pie-hurling assailant.

The divorce filing said the “relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably,” said Steven Rubenstein, a spokesman for Murdoch with Rubenstein Communications, in a telephone interview. Wendi Murdoch couldn’t be reached for comment.

Wendi Murdoch, 37 years younger than her husband, made headlines in 2011 for physically defending him when he gave testimony at a Parliament hearing over a hacking scandal at his U.K. newspapers. She leapt up and lunged at a man who had tried to throw a pie in Murdoch’s face.

The Murdochs, who have two daughters, were married in 1999, weeks after Rupert Murdoch’s divorce from his previous wife, Anna. His first marriage, to Patricia Booker, ended in 1965. Two years later, he married a reporter at one of his newspapers, Anna Torv, and had three children, Elisabeth, Lachlan and James, all of whom have figured prominently at one point in the workings of his company.

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