Wealth Blog

A ‘crush’ on Tony Blair - can Wendi Deng be serious?

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 December, 2013, 9:59am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 December, 2013, 10:00am

You can’t really accuse journalist of privacy invasion when celebrities just hand scandals to them on a plate. From politicians like Tony Blair to the ever-ambitious Wendi Deng and TV cooking auntie Nigella Lawson, you couldn’t make their lives up. Failed chief executive candidate Henry Tang’s illegal basement shenanigans and Rafael Hui’s bankruptcy are boring trifles compared to the news that media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife, mainlander Wendi Deng, had a crush on Tony Blair and allegations that the white powder in TV chef Nigella Lawson’s kitchen is not all flour and sugar.

Don’t annoy the Dirty Digger

Murdoch's ex Wendi apparently wrote how she had ‘warm feelings’ like a ‘crush’ for Tony Blair, British newspapers reported yesterday. Unbelievably, Wendi apparently wrote this note to herself and it somehow fell into the wrong hands. First of all, how could a smart girl like her let that happen and secondly, how could anyone have a crush on Tony Blair? It beggars belief. But her even bigger mistake was to underestimate her ex-husband. The 82-year-old media tycoon apparently discovered that the former Labour prime minister had spent weekends at his California homes and later filed for divorce from Wendi, 44. Were these events connected? Of course we will never know, but what on earth is the fragrant Cherie Blair to make of all this? After all, her beloved husband Tony is godfather to one of Wendi and Rupert’s sprogs. Of course rumours have been swilling about regarding why the Murdochs called time on their 14 year marriage, but no one believed them. A crush on Tony Blair, what was she thinking?

Whatever occurred, it’s apparently led to the mother of all fallouts between Tony and Rupert, a former staunch supporter of the former British prime minister. One thing about Rupert is that he is not an ex or failed anything and he may be 82, but he still packs a lot of clout. It seems that Tony, now a born-again Middle East envoy, was forced to avoid the prestigious US Sun Valley conference in July, where he had top billing. This was apparently because Rupert objected to his presence, The Mail on Sunday reported.

This would have dented Tony’s enormous ego considerably. The media finance event was attended by not just Rupert, but Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Tony has been a regular guest at Sun Valley, popping up at the 2007 gathering just two weeks after leaving Downing Street. Both Wendi and Tony should remember something all Murdoch employees learn early: never underestimate the Dirty Digger.


Cooking auntie in the dock

My daughter and her little friends used to call TV chef and gay icon Nigella Lawson “cooking auntie”. I’m not sure why, but when bad boy TV chef Gordon Ramsay reared turkeys in his London back garden for Christmas, he named them Nigella and Delia, after the other British cooking auntie, Delia Smith. Nigella has always managed to spin a glamorous but warm and homely aura around herself, so it came as a shock a few months back when she and husband Charles Saatchi had a public spat and promptly divorced. I admire Nigella, she has succeeded after a rough time nursing her former journalist husband John Diamond and her sister through cancer. Then out of nowhere last week blew up an amazing storm, placing our saintly kitchen queen at the heart of a drugs allegations storm.

She’s not even the one in the dock. The occasion is the trial of Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, Nigella’s former personal assistants. They are accused of embezzling £685,000 from their former employers: Charles and Nigella, before their divorce.

An email produced in court from Charles, the multi-millionaire art dealer, suggests that Nigella was a habitual user of cannabis and cocaine. It is a charge which she vehemently denies – and which Charles later undermined in his own testimony. Now the great British public doesn’t know what to think. Having decided that Charles was a rat for being mean to poor Nigella, now it’s possible that her private life was more complicated than it seemed. Charles may yet emerge smelling of roses. Everyone’s waiting for Wednesday, when Nigella gives her side of the story in court. Who needs Downton Abbey? You couldn’t make this up.