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The entertainment industry was rocked early Thursday by news that News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch had filed for divorce from his wife of 14 years, Wendi Deng.
A sealed document within the filing revealed that “the relationship between the husband and wife has broken down irretrievably,” according to the Associated Press. The couple, who have two daughters together, ages 11 and 9, have reportedly been living separate lives for at least six months.
PHOTOS: 10 of Hollywood’s Nastiest Divorces
And there’s plenty at stake: Murdoch, 82, is worth $11.2 billion and is No. 91 on the Forbes list of wealthiest people in the world. He reportedly has a prenuptial agreement with Deng, 44, who became Murdoch’s third wife in 1999 after he divorced Anna Maria Torv.
After their divorce was final, Torv reportedly ended up with $1.7 billion, including $100 million in cash. Deng, who reportedly twice signed amendments to her original prenuptial agreement, was married to Murdoch for less than half the number of years Torv was married to him.
So who will represent Murdoch in his third divorce, with so much at stake? Meet Ira Garr, a founding partner at New York-based law firm Garr Silpe P.C., which offers services related to“divorce, child custody, child support, equitable distribution of property, paternity agreements, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, matters involving same sex marriage and litigation of all matrimonial and family law matters,” according to its website.
Garr has been recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” since 2008 and has been listed as one of New York’s top attorneys by the New York Times Magazine and New York Magazine since 2006.
He also is no stranger to high-profile clients: His bio says his “clientele are generally high-worth individuals and often celebrities.” Among them: Ivana Trump.
According to his profile, Garr prefers to settle matrimonial disputes by agreement, rather than going to court.
PHOTOS: Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng Through the Years
“An agreement is limited only by the parties’ and their lawyer’s creativity,” he is quoted in his bio. “A court is bound to follow the dictates of the Domestic Relations Law and cannot possibly fashion a decision with the detail and precision that fair-minded attorneys negotiating in good faith can structure.”
Garr — who earned his law degree at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law, according to his LinkedIn page — got his start as assistant counsel to the Judicial Relations Committee (now the State Commission on Judicial Conduct), investigating judges’ misconduct. He entered private practice in 1978 and founded his own firm seven years later. He also has taught trial advocacy at St. John’s Law School.
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