Vanity Fair has another excerpt from Michael Wolff’s Rupert Murdoch biography, this one focusing on Rupert’s meeting and mating with youthful Dragon Lady Wendi Deng. “It’s like something out of a romance novel,” Wolff writes, and it kind of is. Herewith, the dirtiest bits:
• Rupert still wants to go to Shanghai to visit Star TV and needs a guide, and “All right, I’ve got an M.B.A. for you,” says Star CEO Gary Davey. She’s really smart.” And Chinese. He calls Wendi and says, “There’s somebody coming to Hong Kong who you’ve got to take to Shanghai. It’s Rupert Murdoch.” Davey later narrates, “That’s when the flame was ignited. To what extent it was consummated, that we can have no idea of.”
• Rupes calls Davey: “You’re probably wondering now why Wendi isn’t back from vacation. Well, she’s with me, and chances are she won’t be coming back to Star TV.”
• They talk about business all the time. He’s suddenly not feeling guilty about talking about business all the time. He’s sexy to somebody exactly because he’s talking about business … It’s all so immensely exhilarating to a stuffy old singlet-wearing man.
• In February 2001, shortly after he’s finished treatment for prostate cancer, the announcement is made that Wendi is pregnant. Murdoch, at 70, is having his fifth child.
Okay, so maybe it’s more of a diaper-ripper than a bodice-ripper. A genre is born.