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Because Wendi Deng’s Rumspringa Took Her to Burning Man

Forrty-seven years ago this month, a girl was born in communist China. She was raised in a house without hot water. Three decades later, before it all ended, Wendi Deng had performed the steepest social climb in living history, as the wife of a news-magnate billionaire whose daughters will inherit portions of the family fortune equal to those of the half-siblings roughly Deng’s own age.

The Deng–Rupert Murdoch split last year could have been the end of Wendi. It featured rumors about an affair with a British prime minister and a humiliating tale about a smutty diary supposedly authored by the Yale-educated Deng. (“He [Tony Blair] has such good body and he has really really good legs Butt.”)

But Deng emerged from the muck better than ever. She does yoga with Arianna Huffington, parties with Demi Moore at Miami Beach, and has traded parenting tips with the Tiger Mom. She co-chaired the Met Gala this year. Then she jetted out to Burning Man. (Transparent coral muumuu, model’s own.) Wendi’s married life was fabulous, too, but could you really imagine Rupert among the Burners? The Black Rock Desert is no country for old men. For all the power she wielded as Murdoch’s wife, turns out Wendi Deng is even better — and weirder — on her own.