The pair married shortly after Murdoch divorced his wife of 31 years, Anna. Shortly after they married, Rupert Murdoch said in an interview with Australian magazine The Monthly that his new wife's job was "as a home decorator," and that she was not "some business genius about to take over News."
"She's intelligent, but she's not going to do that," he said. Her friends were incensed. "She didn't marry him to sit at home and be a society wife," one friend told the magazine.
His views may have changed, as Deng told Vogue that "Rupert thinks I have a good head on my shoulders. Whatever I do he is very involved in."
Indeed, Deng has been involved in her husband's business in China, putting her Mandarin language skills to use and bridging cultural differences. When News Corp still owned Myspace, she gave strategic advice to that Internet business in China and pocketed $92,000 in fees in 2010, according to a filing.
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But she never had a major role in her husband's company, unlike Murdoch's former wife Anna Murdoch, who had a position on News Corp's board until 1998.
Lately, Deng has pursued her own endeavors such as co-producing the movie "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan," a story set in 19th century China about the tough cultural norms imposed on women.
The movie, distributed by News Corp's Fox Searchlight in 2011, grossed just over $11 million. Deng has since produced another film, "Journey of a Thousand Miles," based on the memoir of Chinese pianist Lang Lang.
To many people outside the media industry, Deng is best known for defending her husband from a foam pie a prankster threw at the mogul while he was testifying before the British Parliament over News Corp's phone-hacking scandal in July 2011.
More than halfway through the hearing, Deng suddenly leapt from her seat to intercept the pie with a furious slap, gaining the nickname "tiger wife."
The divorce is bound to be fodder for tabloid newspapers around the world, though Murdoch's own New York Post and The Sun did not have their own stories on their websites more than four hours after the news broke.
The Post offered a link to a partner video headlined "Billionaire News Corp Owner Rupert Murdoch Divorcing Wife #3." Murdoch's more sedate Times of London had the story near the top of its homepage, with the straightforward "Rupert Murdoch: files for divorce from wife Wendi."
An early jab came from the media website Gawker, which offered its best parody of a Post headline.
"Loveless Body in Pointless Marriage," Gawker wrote, using the Post's typeface imposed over a picture of Murdoch and Deng.