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Murdoch’s wife is an Internet sensation

Wendi Deng, the wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, became an instant hit on the internet after she quickly came to his aid when he was hit during a Commons hearing on the phone hacking scandal, the Telegraph reported. Watch the pie attack video here

world Updated: Jul 20, 2011 23:08 IST

Wendi Deng, the wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, became an instant hit on the internet after she quickly came to his aid when he was hit during a Commons hearing on the phone hacking scandal, the Telegraph reported.

Twitter was set alight with praise for 42-year-old Wendi, with comments suggesting she had made the hearing worth watching, it said.

Wendi, who came from middle-class China to marry one of the world’s most powerful media moguls, gave a dramatic stand-by-your-man display. She was dubbed ‘Smack Down Sister’ on Chinese websites.

The Yale University business school graduate, yoga devotee and former News Corp employee reacted faster than anyone else seated around Murdoch, including his son James, when the incident took place.

The hearing in the News of the World phone hacking case by a British parliamentary panel was interrupted by a man throwing a shaving-cream pie at her 80-year-old husband.

She sprang from her seat behind her husband to smack the assailant, in a scene witnessed by millions around the world on television on Tuesday.

Wendi made the embattled News Corp chief look vulnerable, and herself strong. Her reaction also helped to take some of the heat off of Murdoch who had looked tired.

“That’s our Wendi,” said Vanity Fair writer Michael Wolff, author of a Murdoch biography.

“She is great — incredibly full of energy, incredibly intelligent, living the life and just squeezing everything out of it,” Telegraph quoted Wolff as saying.

China’s enthusiastic microbloggers made the incident one of the most popular topics on the country’s Twitter-like service Weibo, although the hacking scandal had previously attracted relatively little media coverage, the report said.

“When you marry, you should marry a Chinese woman. In times of danger, she will act,” added Loulan Loulan.

Wendi however has not taken to her own Weibo account to talk about what she did.

With 124,131 followers, her Weibo site is full of pictures of her with celebrities, and references to her “hubby”.