News Corporation boss cites irretrievable breakdown in marriage in divorce filing from woman seen as key player in media empire

News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from wife Wendi Deng Murdoch, the mother of his two youngest children and a woman seen as a key player in the media empire.

The news, first reported by Deadline Hollywood and confirmed by a spokesman, brings to an end the media mogul's third marriage. Murdoch, 82, met Deng, 44, at a company party in Hong Kong in 1997. They were married two years later, less than a month after his divorce from ex-wife Anna was finalised after 32 years of marriage.

The couple are believed to have filed for joint custody of their children but there are no details of any settlement. Murdoch has cited an irretrievable breakdown in marriage for more than six months as the reason for the divorce.

Murdoch is worth an estimated $11.2bn, according to Forbes magazine. His last divorce from Anna Murdoch cost $1.7bn including $100m in cash.

The couple signed a pre-nuptial agreement and two further agreements in 2002 and 2004. Wendi Murdoch has been a key player in News Corp's push into China and is chief of strategy for MySpace's China operation.

Deng, born in China and educated at Yale, has been credited with making over her mogul partner, introducing him to a younger, more tech-savvy set of friends including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

She became internationally famous after leaping to block an attack by protestor Jonathan May-Bowles, who threw a pie at her husband during a British parliamentary committee hearing into the News International phone hacking scandal. © Guardian News and Media 2013

[News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch. Photo:, all rights reserved.]