News Corp.'s still-unfurling hacking scandal that has thus far shuttered a 168-year-old newspaper; pissed off celebrities, politicians and families of Sept. 11 victims; spawned lawsuits; and is threatening to thwart a $12 billion takeover of British Sky Broadcasting, is problematic for mogul Rupert Murdoch at home, too.
The mess comes just as Mr. Murdoch's third and current wife, Wendi Murdoch, is making the rounds to promote her new movie, "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan." It hits theaters July 15 and premiered in Los Angeles last night.
It's a particularly weighty endeavor for Ms. Murdoch as she's a newcomer in Hollywood and this is her first major film debut. The Yale-educated exec is the co-CEO of Big Feet Productions, which she launched in 2008 after clocking time at News Corp. companies in Asia. She worked at MySpace China and at Star TV in Hong Kong before that .
The film -- which is based on the book by Lisa See and stars popular Asian actresses Bing Bing Li and Gianna Gun, as well as Hugh Jackman -- is a story told in two parts, one in a remote part of China in the 19th century and the other in modern-day Shanghai. The theme is the strength of female friendship.
Fortunately for Ms. Murdoch, she has some friends in high places who are trying to help her get the word out for the movie. Ivanka Trump for more than a month has been plugging the movie on Facebook and Twitter, while Tom Hanks' wife, Rita Wilson, Ms. Murdoch's friend for many years, has been waxing poetic to the press and showing up for events tied to the film, as seen in this Twitpic snapped last night in Los Angeles.
Ariana Huffington -- with whom Ms. Murdoch has hosted vegan parties -- wrote an incredibly long piece a couple of days ago about the movie, saying it inspired a video series about female friendship for HuffPo's site and urging readers to "do yourself a favor: take your girlfriends to go see 'Snow Flower.'"
Lest you thought Wendi didn't seek Rupert's advice about the movie, in a giant spread in the August issue of Harper's Bazaar, Ms. Murdoch says he was rather involved: "Rupert read 22 versions."
Also discussed in the piece is his parenting style when it comes to the couple's young daughters Grace and Chloe. "Rupert Murdoch is equally attentive; he reads newspaper headlines to his girls over breakfast and discusses the day's news. He often takes them to work."
Not so much these days, we're guessing.