At 82 and just six months after he split from Wendi Deng, his wife of 15 years, Rupert Murdoch has a new romantic interest, according to his biographer.
“(She) is a younger woman who has been traveling with him — his massage therapist”, writes Michael Wolff, author of The Man Who Owns The News, adding: “He has told friends, (she) has made him very happy.”
Writing in USA Today, Wolff also hints that the breakdown of the Murdoch marriage may have been caused by an “involvement” between Deng and a senior Google executive.
“In June, acting on new reports about her involvement with Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, he summarily ended his marriage,” writes Wolff.
Despite the marriage breakdown and the trial of some of his closest associates for telephone hacking, bribery, obstruction of justice and conspiracy in London, Murdoch is telling people he may never have been happier in his life, says the respected biographer.
“This is partly because he believes that he and his family have largely beaten the rap,” writes Wolff. “But it is also a personal trait of Murdoch’s, being able to write off the past, with both finesse and brutality.”
Deng, who Wolff says was more surprised than anyone by Murdoch’s decision to end their marriage, famously stepped between her husband and a pie-thrower during British Parliamentary hearings into the hacking allegations in 2011. But, according to Wolff, he didn’t appreciate her intervention.
“It was Deng’s telling moment in the sun…that he has told friends crystallized his anger,” writes Wolff. “He realized he did not want her protecting him now — making him look old, he felt, and weak — or his legacy later.”
Murdoch has been in Australia in recent weeks, but it is unknown whether he was accompanied by his massage therapist. His Sydney office told Fairfax Media that Wolff’s allegations were “totally untrue”.