Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, worth $12.3 billion, has filed a divorce action in Manhattan against his wife of thirteen years, Wendi Deng.
Legal documents indicate their union has been "irretrievably broken" for more many months. They were last photographed together at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Hollywood at the end of February.
The divorce action comes two weeks before News Corp. plans to break up the media empire into two separate companies - an entertainment unit called 21st Century Fox and a publishing entity that will retain the News Corp. name.
Deng was born in China and met Murdoch at a Hong Kong cocktail party in 1997. The 30-year-old graduate of Yale School of Management was working as a junior executive for STAR TV in Asia. She left her position after they wed aboard his private yacht in 1999.
Murdoch has six children. His two youngest daughters, Grace, 11, and Chloe, 9, were born to Wendi during the early years of their union.
Wendi Deng Murdoch, 44, has amassed an unspecified number of non-voting shares in the company over the course of her marriage and their girls are beneficiaries of 8.7 million non-voting shares that are currently held in trust.
Murdoch's wife gained international attention in July 2011 when she deflected a cream pie that a protester hurdled at her husband when he was being questioned by members of British parliament regarding his knowledge of a phone hacking scandal.
Upon Murdoch's death, his four eldest children, who have voting shares, will have a controlling interest in News Corp.