News World Rupert Murdoch seals third divorce with a kiss

Rupert Murdoch seals third divorce with a kiss

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Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng have sealed their divorce with a quick peck on the cheek.

The couple, married for 14 years, appeared in a Manhattan courtroom on Wednesday where the judge congratulated them on agreeing to a settlement.

“Good luck to you both,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ellen Gesmer said.

Murdoch, 82, was the first to arrive in court, wearing a black coat, grey suit, red tie and black-rimmed glasses.

Deng, 44, who was an executive at his giant Asian media company Star TV, walked into court 20 minutes later in a green overcoat and carrying a black and white leopard print handbag.

It is Murdoch’s third divorce.

When Judge Gesmer asked Murdoch and Deng if they understood the divorce agreement was final and it would mean they would avoid a public trial, Murdoch replied: “Indeed, yes.”

The details of the agreement were confidential, but Deng will reportedly receive their three-level Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park.

They purchased the penthouse eight years ago for $US44 million and reportedly spent another $US50 million on renovations.

The penthouse is where their daughters, Grace, 12, and Chloe, 10, were raised.

Murdoch and Deng, who have a prenuptial agreement, also have properties in Los Angeles, Australia, China, and Britain.

Murdoch, whose personal wealth is estimated at $US13 billion ($A13.97 billion), recently purchased a 6.5-acre winery in the exclusive Los Angeles suburb of Bel Air for $US29 million.

Murdoch is expected to keep the winery and a nearby Beverly Hills mansion.

“We are pleased to announce that we have reached an amicable settlement of all matters relating to our divorce,” a statement released by Murdoch and Deng after the court appearance said.

“We move forward with mutual respect and a shared interest in the health and happiness of our two daughters.

“We will not comment on this any further.”

At the end of the hearing, Deng gave Murdoch a peck on the cheek.

Deng, who famously jumped to her feet to defend her husband from a pie-throwing assailant as he testified in 2011 before a British parliamentary committee investigating the British phone-hacking scandal, was reportedly surprised by Murdoch’s decision to file for divorce in June.

The divorce filing stated the “relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably”.

Murdoch and Deng, who met at a company party, married just weeks after Murdoch’s divorce from second wife Anna Torv, mother of their children Elisabeth, Lachlan and James, was finalised.

Torv reportedly pocketed $US1.7 billion in that divorce agreement, including $US110 million in cash.

The divorce agreement with Deng is not expected to alter Murdoch’s control of his media companies – 21st Century Fox and News Corp.

Deng and the couple’s two daughters have no voting rights in the company, in contrast to Murdoch’s four other children from his two previous marriages.