Rupert Murdoch seeks divorce from Wendi Deng Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng Murdoch. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times / January 16, 2011)

Deng famously lunged from her seat two years ago during a Parliament committee hearing in London to protect Murdoch from a heckler who attempted to shove a plate full of shaving cream into the chief executive's face. She had been increasing her profile in recent years and two years ago produced the movie "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan," which was distributed by Fox Searchlight.

Anna Murdoch Mann came away with one of the largest divorce settlements in history: $1.7 billion. The divorce agreement also stipulated that their three children — as well as Murdoch's oldest daughter, Prudence — would be entitled to equal shares in the trust.

Prudence (or Prudence MacLeod) was born in 1958 to Murdoch and his first wife, Patricia Booker, who had been a flight attendant from Melbourne. They were married in 1956 and divorced in the mid-1960s.

People close to the family suggested Thursday that Deng would not receive a settlement anywhere near as large as the one that went to Anna Murdoch Mann.

"It will really depend on the terms of the prenuptial agreement," Jaffe said. "I hope that everything can be resolved as amicably as it was during the last divorce settlement. Mr. Murdoch is an intelligent businessman and last time he made a good business decision."