As most of you have probably heard, 82-year-old Rupert Murdoch has just filed for divorce from his wife of 14 years, Wendy Deng, age 44. Considering that Deng is his third wife, and that the divorce from his second wife cost him $1.7 billion, we figure that Murdoch has learned a thing or two about divorce at this point.
Murdoch, estimated by Forbes to be worth $9.2 billion, did sign a pre-nuptial agreement with Deng prior to tying the knot in 1999, and then another two agreements in 2002 and 2004. According to a New York Daily News article by Dareh Gregorian, Carol Kuruvilla, and Barbara Ross the couple filed for divorce in the New York State Supreme Court with one of Murdoch’s spokesmen stating that their relationship has “broken down irretrievably.”
Needless to say, there are a lot of financial issues to sort out when getting a divorce. Dividing up the property, stocks, furniture, valuables, vehicles, and all other items that were purchased over years of a marriage together. Not to mention child support, and any debt that the couple has jointly accumulated.
Murdoch has shown us that if you have a ton of money, and have so much as a slight suspicion that a relationship might not go the distance, signing a pre-nup is essential. In Murdoch’s case, he signed agreements in addition to the pre-nup, signing two of them post-nup. The fact is that as Deng became more involved with his business, News Corp, he probably realized that her involvement could award her the status of a business partner, and entitle her to millions (or billions) in the event of a divorce. Life lesson: make sure if your spouse does become involved in your business, make sure it is on a proper contractual basis.
Another thing Murdoch has shown us: perhaps 38 years in age difference is a bit too much.