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Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 11/03/2011

Wendi Deng Murdoch: Billionaire's wife, pie avenger, movie producer

Wendi Deng Murdoch, Chris Dodd and Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui at the screening of "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan." (Ralph Alswang)

Big year for Wendi Deng Murdoch. The wife of billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch jumped (literally) into the public eye this summer when a pie-throwing protestor attacked her husband during Britain's phone-hacking hearings. The former volleyball player nailed the guy with a wicked overhand slap — by far the most entertaining moment of the entire proceedings.

She was, by contrast, almost demure at Wednesday’s screening of her movie “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” at the Motion Picture Association of America hosted by MPAA chair Chris Dodd.

Murdoch’s China-born third wife, 42, wears many hats in his empire: Mother of his two young daughters, international business advisor and now movie producer. Among the guests were Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui and Fox’s Ed Henry. “She the boss’s wife,” Henry told us. “Gotta be nice.”

Li Bing Bing and Gianna Jun in “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.” (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.)
It’s her first foray into the movie business: Based on the best-seller by Lisa See, “Snow Flower” tells parallel stories of best friends in 19th-century and modern-day China — think “Beaches”-style tearjerker, with Hugh Jackman as The Guy. Reviews in the U.S. were harsh, but Murdoch is banking on the global film market, especially in her native country: The movie premiered at the Shanghai Film Festival in June and will open in London this weekend.

“It happens in China but speaks to all people and all cultures,” said Murdoch in heavily accented English. “It’s how friendship helps you to cope with life’s challenges — suffering, sacrifice and sharing secrets.”

Read also: Murdoch’s wife slaps foam-pie thrower, 7/19/11

‘Snow Flower’ reviewed, 7/22/11

By  |  10:00 PM ET, 11/03/2011

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