Blair loses his cool in Wendi grilling as he says he will ‘never’ reveal truth about relationship with Murdoch’s ex-wife
- Affair allegations prompted Rupert Murdoch to divorce Wendi Deng
- Blair refused to comment when asked about the claims directly
- Tells Economist magazine the issue is ‘not something I will ever talk about’
- Profile piece says Blair then banged cup so loudly into saucer that it spilled
- ‘A large, dark pool of sweat has suddenly appeared under his armpit, spreading across an expensive blue shirt,’ says journalist
Tony Blair has said he will ‘never’ reveal the full truth about his relationship with Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife.
The former prime minister made headlines around the world last year following sensational allegations he had an affair with Wendi Deng, which prompted the billionaire media mogul to divorce her.
Asked about the claims directly for the first time, Mr Blair refused to comment.
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Tony Blair (pictured right in 1998) says he will ‘never’ reveal the full truth about his relationship with Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife, Wendi Deng (left)
He told the Economist magazine the issue was ‘not something I will ever talk about – I haven’t and I won’t’.
Leaked passages from Miss Deng’s diary revealed she described having ‘warm feelings’ comparable to a ‘crush’ on Mr Blair, who allegedly stayed at the Murdochs’ California ranch with her in October 2012 and April 2013 while the media mogul was abroad.
In 2013, a spokesman for Mr Blair issued a statement saying: ‘If you are asking if they are having an affair, the answer is no.’
Mr Murdoch said this year he was ‘shocked’ by the claims about Miss Deng and Mr Blair, who is godfather to the couple’s daughter Grace
But the Economist said Mr Blair himself was much less forthcoming.
In a lengthy profile of the former prime minister, the respected magazine says: ‘Mr Blair roundly denies any impropriety. Asked whether he was [at least] careless about his reputation, he says calmly that it is “not something I will ever talk about—I haven’t and I won’t”, and then bangs his coffee cup so loudly into its saucer that it spills and everyone in the room jumps.
‘But did he find himself in a tangle over his friendship with Ms Deng? A large, dark pool of sweat has suddenly appeared under his armpit, spreading across an expensive blue shirt.
‘Even Mr Blair’s close friends acknowledge that the saga damaged him — not least financially, since Mr Murdoch stopped contributing to Mr Blair’s faith foundation and cut him off from other friendly donors in America.’
Mr Blair and his wife Cherie also preside over a property empire comprising 10 flats and houses
Mr Murdoch said this year he was ‘shocked’ by the claims about Miss Deng and Mr Blair, who is godfather to the couple’s daughter Grace. He said he filed for divorce a week after staff at the ranch told him of their suspicions.
‘Well, you know, everybody was talking about these things and never telling me anything… But then I was told two pretty circumstantial things about the ranch [where Deng had been staying],’ Murdoch said in an interview with Forbes magazine .
‘I was in Australia. When I got back, I naturally asked the staff, and it opened up. That’s the story. And then, you know, a week later I filed. As soon as I could find a lawyer.’
The couple divorced last November after 14 years of marriage.
Details of lovestruck Deng’s note, in which she praised Blair’s ‘good body,’ his ‘really, really good legs’ and even his ‘butt’ were revealed by Vanity Fair in February.
The Economist said: ‘According to sources at NewsCorp, Mr Murdoch pressed the “mute” button during a confrontational phone call, informed colleagues that he was getting “politicians’ answers” to his questions, and has never spoken to Mr Blair since.’
The new profile, headlined ‘The loneliness of Tony Blair’, paints a picture of a man who is able to command warmth and huge sums of money abroad while being ‘reviled’ in the country where he served as prime minister for 10 years.
Mr Blair tells the magazine reports of his wealth have been greatly exaggerated – and suggests he has made no more than about £20 million since leaving office in 2007.
The business arm of his operations, Tony Blair Associates, made £13 million last year. Mr Blair and his wife Cherie also preside over a family property empire comprising 10 flats and houses.
But Mr Blair told the magazine that he ‘gives away as much as he has earned’, and that he has given away about £10 million.
Mr Blair also defended his record in the Middle East. He said he would not ‘until my dying day’ admit that he was wrong to invade Iraq.
‘What annoys people is my refusal to change my mind,’ he says.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2879924/Blair-loses-cool-Wendi-grilling-says-never-reveal-truth-relationship-Murdoch-s-ex-wife.html#ixzz3MLxnVb9m
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