Video: Murdoch's wife Wendi's right hook
Published 20/07/2011 | 07:10
Maybe nobody told Wendi Deng she was not giving evidence to the House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee yesterday.
Because from the moment she entered the Wilson Room, where two-and-a-half hours of intensive questioning were followed by a moment of high theatre, Rupert Murdoch's third wife acted as if she too was in the hot seat.
Perched on a chair directly behind the 80-year-old media tycoon, the striking 42-year-old nodded, frowned and tutting through proceedings.
Dressed in a bright pink Chanel jacket and a black skirt, Deng was constantly visible to television viewers, seated directly behind her husband.
Anyone who thought Chinese-born Deng was there to do nothing but stand by her man, or rather sit demurely behind him, was quite wrong.
As the nerves began to tell on one of the most powerful men on the planet, a man credited with the power to topple governments, he started to bang his hand on the table increasingly hard.
While questioned by Tom Watson, the Labour MP who refused to let questions over hacking go away, the banging became more and more noticeable.
Several times Wendi bent forward to tap him gently on the shoulder, a soft reminder that he should remember himself.
And when the interloper, comedian Jonnie Marbles, lunged at Mr Murdoch with a plate full of shaving foam, she leapt to his defence in an instant.
A former champion volleyball player, her fierce instincts propelled her to jump up quicker than anyone else in the room.
Using an open palm, she brought down a blow hard and with full fury on to Marbles' head, just as if she was spiking a volleyball.
The outraged Deng was much quicker than anyone else in the room, including James Murdoch, who was sitting next to his father, and police.
After the cameras were directed away from the action, leaving frustrated viewers able to see nothing but the abstract painting behind the MPs, she kept on her counter-offensive, pursuing the attacker and trying to turn the plate of foam back on him.
When Marbles was restrained by others, she turned back to her husband and gently cleared the foam from his face, trying to restore his dignity, and then embraced his head in her arms.
As Mr Watson later told Mr Murdoch: "Your wife has a very good left hook.
Another member of committee said: "Don't get in the way of Wendi Deng".