Murdoch tells the everyday story of a lonely billionaire
Wednesday 08 September 1999
There was dinner, there was a relationship and marriage, a love story set among the complex and high-flying worlds of corporate politics and global business.
He is Rupert Murdoch, the 68-year-old boss of The News Corporation, an Australian turned American, and, unusually, he has chosen to tell his story - to Vanity Fair magazine in the US. He decided to talk, apparently, after his recent divorce from second wife Anna and marriage to Wendy Deng, 31, sparked widespread interest in the private life of one of the world's most powerful media magnates. The interview is with William Shawcross, Mr Murdoch's biographer and a big fan of the great man.
"I was travelling a lot and was very obsessed with business and perhaps more than normally inconsiderate," he told the magazine. The children had left home and were running chunks of the Murdoch empire.
"We drifted apart to the point where things became very unhappy," said Mr Murdoch. "You go through a period of mixed emotions and self-doubt, but there it is." He was "a recently separated, lonely man" when he met Ms Deng in London last year. He asked her out to dinner, and then "talked her into staying in London" a little longer. Given that she was a News Corp employee, that probably wasn't too difficult. The affair, he said, did not start until after his marriage was over. And now they are married, her work is over. "Wendi is busy working on decorating the new apartment," he told Vanity Fair. "She's a bit frustrated by it - she'd love to work ... but the fact is she cannot do that and travel with me."
Mr Murdoch seemed uncomfortable with questions about The Sun, which, with the News of the World, The Times, The Sunday Times and part-ownership of BSkyB is the core of his British Empire. "There was a period when it savaged people. But it depends on what you mean by savaging people. There's nothing wrong with hitting your adversaries hard," he said. Didn't people deserve a private life? "Not really. It depends on who you are and what position you've got."
Curiously, the British press had been "pretty kind" to him, he said, perhaps because he owns a large chunk of it.
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
Syria's 'circle of hell': Aleppo residents describe children without heads, streets filled with blood and injuries never before witnessed by surgeons
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: Clegg warns of second election before Christmas without Lib Dems
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...