Tony Blair Is Not Currently Sleeping With Rupert Murdoch’s Wife, He Says

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Photo: Patrick McMullan

The private life of independent woman Wendi Deng became the source of much speculation and gossiping immediately after news broke that her 82-year-old mogul husband Rupert Murdoch had filed for divorce. "Am also told that undisclosed reasons for Murdoch divorcing Deng are jaw-dropping," wrote the business editor of the BBC. "I'm hearing the WHY, the big reveal, the scandal details, could come tomorrow," teased Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff last night. "Rumor about the big B is everywhere except in print." Gawker winked, "People Are Googling 'Wendi Deng Tony Blair.'"

The Hollywood Reporter came right out and asked: Is Wendi Deng involved with Tony Blair? "If you are asking if they are having an affair, the answer is no," said a rep for the former British prime minister. So, not at the moment.

The exact source of the whispers is impossible to trace, but Deng's relationships with powerful men, including Blair, are well known. Vogue reported in 2011, "Her conversation was peppered with famous names: her closest friends include [Hugh] Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Tony Blair (all of whom are godparents to the couple's children, all of whom attended the christening garbed in white, as the guests of Queen Rania, on the banks of the river Jordan), and 'the Google guys', Larry Page and Sergey Brin."

And the Times: "Mrs. Murdoch has emerged with her own independent career and has immersed herself in a social circle that includes David Geffen, Larry Ellison, Tony Blair, Nicole Kidman and Bono, one that is often free of her husband’s presence."

Wolff, in "Tony Blair and the Murdochs: A Family Affair," wrote, "Blair becomes one of Wendi's first official social conquests, in her developing role both as Murdoch social emissary and social power player. Wendi Murdoch becomes a curious wrinkle in the power equation — a way for Blair to see himself as having control of Murdoch, of joining with Wendi to handle him." The language is certainly suggestive.

Others have pointed to a juicy blind item in the Daily Mail earlier this month about a "dynamite" affair — "which does not involve anyone serving in the Cabinet" — that could nonetheless affect current prime minister David Cameron. The details, while vague and thinly sourced, could fit. According to the tabloid, "The affair has now concluded."