Are Vladimir Putin & Wendi Deng Really Dating? This Has Got To Be An April Fool's Joke, Right?
Is this an April Fool's prank? According to an Us Weekly exclusive, rumor has it that Russian President Vladimir Putin is dating businesswoman Wendi Deng, who happens to be Rupert Murdoch's ex-wife. Although the Kremlin has made no reference to the alleged relationship, rumors about this power couple have been circulating for years. Putin and his wife of 30 years, Lyudmila Putina, divorced in 2014, while Deng and Murdoch divorced in 2013.
Putin is not the first world leader whom Deng has supposedly dated. In fact, Murdoch apparently cited a supposed affair between Deng and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair as his reason for divorcing her in 2013. According to The Guardian, Blair was a friend of Murdoch's before the divorce, and is the godfather of one of Murdoch's daughters. Likewise, rumors have circulated for years of a relationship between Putin and Russian gymnast Alina Kabaeva. Some Swiss newspapers even claim that Kabaeva gave birth to Putin's child in 2015. The Kremlin unsurprisingly denied these claims.
However, on the subject of Putin and Deng, US Weekly reports that a source close to Putin has confirmed that the relationship is "serious." Furthermore, on Monday, Deng were apparently spotted in St. Bart's on a yacht belonging to a mutual friend of herself and Putin, Russian businessman Roman Abramovich. They have yet to be seen in public together.
Putin is notoriously, well, private about his private life. Therefore, don't expect acknowledgement of the alleged relationship anytime soon. US Weekly cites a December 2015 news conference, in which Putin spoke highly of his daughters, Maria and Yekaterina, as one of the only recent instances of him speaking openly about his family.
Unsurprisingly, Deng's private life is a far more explicit topic of conversation. Recently, The Daily Mail shared photos of Deng's outing on Abramovich's yacht — Deng and Abramovich's wife, Dasha, are close friends. Apparently, Deng and her daughters — Murdoch is the father of 14-year-old Grace and 12-year-old Chloe — joined Abramovich in St. Bart's just weeks after Murdoch and his fourth wife, Jerry Hall, tied the knot in London. US Weekly cites this yachting escapade as further proof that Deng and Putin may be a couple.
Deng's ex-husband isn't the only one who is again in a committed relationship. The Daily Beast reported in January that Putin's ex-wife is allegedly married again as well. In fact, just like Deng's ex, Lyudmila Putina supposedly married someone much younger. Though it has not been confirmed, The Daily Beast reported Putina married Artur Ocheretnyi, the head of Russia's Center for the Development of Interpersonal Communications. Perhaps Putin and Deng are indeed a couple. Or maybe it's just that April Fool's Day is fast approaching.