Billionaire media baron Rupert Murdoch has opened up about his divorce from Wendi Deng, describing his marriage to his third wife as an “unhappy situation”.
The 83 year-old admitted that he was “shocked” when he discovered Ms Deng’s diary entries revealing her “warm feelings” comparable to a “crush” on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The owner of newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, The Times of London and The Australian revealed that he first learned of Mr Blair’s alleged visits to Mr Murdoch’s California ranch while Ms Deng was staying there without her husband.
“Well, you know, everybody was talking about these things and never telling me anything,” he told Fortune magazine.
“I don’t really want to go into this. But then I was told two pretty circumstantial things about the ranch [where Ms Deng had reportedly been staying].
“I was in Australia. When I got back, I naturally asked the staff, and it opened up. That’s the story. And then, you know, a week later I filed [for divorce]. As soon as I could find a lawyer.”
In March, Vanity Fair magazine published details of Ms Deng’s diary entries reportedly praising Mr Blair’s “good body”, his “really, really good legs” and his “butt”.
The magazine also alleged that Mr Blair had visited Ms Deng at Mr Murdoch’s ranch in October, 2012, and again in April, 2013.
During his time there, staff reportedly observed Mr Blair entering the master bedroom in search of Ms Deng and were made to feel uncomfortable when the pair fed one another over dinner.
“I was shocked,” Mr Murdoch said when asked about the revelations.
“… I regret the whole Vanity Fair thing. I wish we could have got divorced quietly.”
Mr Blair, who is married to barrister Cherie Blair, has denied having an affair with Mr Murdoch’s wife of 14 years.
Mr Murdoch, who has two daughters, Grace and Chloe, with Ms Deng, said that he had “turned over a new page” following his divorce.
” … I was in an unhappy situation, and all I’m worried about or do worry about is two beautiful little girls from that marriage,” he said.
In addition to his tumultuous personal life, Mr Murdoch has also been dealing with the high-profile phone hacking scandal at his British newspaper operations and the subsequent split of his print and entertainment businesses.
“It’s been stressful,” said Mr Mudoch, who refused to talk about the phone hacking allegations for legal reasons.
“I’m quite open about it. I was reluctant to see the company split, and now I’ve got to say that I’ve been proved wrong. I think it has been a great success.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Mr Murdoch told Fortune that he experienced a bad fall earlier this year that had forced him to rest for three weeks.
He added that relations with Elisabeth Murdoch, his only daughter from his second marriage to journalist Anna Torv, were “warm” and “loving”.
Mr Murdoch and Elisabeth reportedly had a falling-out following a speech she delivered in 2012 distancing herself from her father and brother James in the midst of the phone hacking revelations.