Wendi Deng refers to herself as Wendi Murdoch on Instagram. I have always found this interesting. Because Wendi is Chinese. And in Chinese culture, we don’t take our husbands’ last names. Before you get too excited, this wasn’t an example of advance feminism on our part. The tradition is more about family respect. About FATHERLY respect. A woman held on to her father’s name to honour him, and therefore the patriarchy, and not to assert her individuality, although, in modern times, that custom has been repurposed by some, me included, indeed as a way of recognising identity. In my case, I was born and raised in North America, I kept my family name to acknowledge my Chinese culture. 

Wendi, however, very much self-styles as a Murdoch, being that she was married to Rupert Murdoch, one of the richest, most powerful men in the world, with all its attendant bonuses. We here at LaineyGossip have long been fascinated by Wendi’s web of famous friends and social and political connections. She was rumoured to have been dating Vladimir Putin. There were also rumours about Tony Blair. I’m going to be low classy now and brag about Maria’s post last year – All Roads Lead To Wendi Deng about her association with some of the most high profile people in Hollywood, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Anna Wintour, and also… Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. 

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal, a publication owned by Rupert Murdoch, published an article about how US counterintelligence officials allegedly warned Ivanka and Jared about their friendship with Wendi, suggesting that she could be a spy for the Chinese government. WHAT HAVE WE BEEN TELLING YOU FOR YEARS?!

This is why it’s no longer possible to separate gossip from anything. Because if you’d been paying attention to gossip, you would have had the jump on this!

Wendi has denied that she has anything to do with any possible Chinese plans to spy on the Americans. And it’s worth noting here that Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump aren’t exactly enemies. Last month, the NY Times reported on their “friendship of convenience”. Now one of his publications is speculating about his ex-wife’s ties to Chinese espionage efforts and her friendship with the president’s daughter and his son-in-law, who is said to have a testy relationship with John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff…

All roads do indeed lead to Wendi Deng. Only, until now, those roads appeared to be clear. Wendi is looking at some roadblocks now in all kinds of directions. Her association with Ivanka and Jared is being scrutinised. Because of that scrutiny, her association with them, period, is now much more exposed to her friends on the other side of the aisle – celebrities, Hollywood, most of whom have publicly stated their opposition to the Trump administration and everyone who’s part of it. She’s a patron of the arts, a community that has openly come out against Donald Trump’s policies. If certain people were already suspicious of Wendi being complicit, will they now be adding “treasonous” to that description? Or is there a smear campaign happening against Wendi Deng, the woman who was thought to be so deeply embedded on all fronts she was supposed to be immune? 

But…wait. Isn’t that what secret agents do? Atomic Blonde wasn’t the first to entrench on both sides and not reveal her true allegiance until the very, very end. Is that what we’re dealing with here in Wendi Deng? 

I last posted about Wendi in December when I was subbing in for Maria in Smutty Social Media. I wrote about her hot young model boyfriend Bertold Zahoran who was with her in St Barts for the holidays, along with all kinds of other very wealthy, purportedly progressive elites. Bertold posted a shot of himself reading on Instagram. Since then, he’s made his Instagram private. Wendi is shutting the windows. What happens next? And if she really does have ties to the Chinese government, are we in danger now for even covering this story? If LaineyGossip isn’t working tomorrow…