Rupert Murdoch, 82, had long heard rumors that his 45-year-old wife was involved in extramarital affairs. But when those rumors grew to include too familiar a relationship with Blair, according to a former News Corp. employee in the U.K., “that was something that really took him aback.” After all, through the power of The Sun, and his other London newspapers, the Times and News of the World, Murdoch had virtually put Blair into office, and Blair had become not only a valued friend but also the godfather of Grace, the older of Rupert and Wendi’s two daughters. (Through a representative, Tony Blair declined to be interviewed. After the announcement of the divorce last June, The Hollywood Reporter published a categorical denial from Blair’s office.)
During their marriage, Wendi had blossomed from what Rupert had first described to his children as “a nice Chinese lady,” whose only goal in life seemed to be pleasing him, into a star in her own right. She became a movie producer, a benefactor of the arts, a force in fashion, and a renowned networker, with rich and powerful friends. She had given Rupert two beautiful daughters, Grace, now 12, and Chloe, 10, who, through a trust, own the ranch in Carmel.
Murdoch’s staff slowly began to keep tabs on Wendi, according to the source, whom they found to be often bad-tempered, but they were hesitant to tell their boss their suspicions of infidelity. Last summer, however, Murdoch told friends, he met with staff members individually and asked them to tell him the truth. They gave him detailed accounts of his wife’s meetings with Blair.