The controversy over Tony Blair’s friendship with Wendi Deng intensified last night as new evidence emerged of the closeness between them.
The Mail on Sunday can disclose that a cache of emails to and from Ms Deng and the former Prime Minister was discovered when her ex-husband Rupert Murdoch filed for divorce.
And the newspaper can also reveal how:
* The emails exchanged between Ms Deng and Mr Blair fuelled Mr Murdoch’s suspicions about their relationship. One source, who knows the content of the emails, said: ‘If it was my wife I would be furious.’
* Mr Blair and Ms Deng met at the Mayfair private members’ club 5 Hertford Street, home of the exotic Loulou’s nightclub.
* Mr Blair met Ms Deng at Mr Murdoch’s London home when he was out of the country.
* Ms Deng said Mr Blair’s adviser, ex-Number 10 official Catherine Rimmer, wanted him to stay away from Ms Deng.
The newspaper revealed in December that Ms Deng’s crush on Mr Blair was laid bare in a note in which she confessed how attractive she found him, and that the pair had stayed overnight at one of Mr Murdoch’s homes without his knowledge.
We were also first to reveal how a furious Mr Murdoch ended all ties with his former friend and ally, Mr Blair, because he felt ‘betrayed.’
Further details of lovestruck Ms Deng’s note, in which she praised Mr Blair’s ‘good body’, his ‘really, really good legs’ and even his ‘butt’ were revealed by US magazine Vanity Fair last week.
It said staff at Mr Murdoch’s home in Carmel, California, were uneasy when Mr Blair arrived and tried to find her.
The magazine claimed they told him Ms Deng had gone to the master bedroom, but ‘by the time they could tell her, Mr Blair was looking for her, they found Mr Blair walking into the master bedroom and closing the door behind him’.
On another occasion ‘they were feeding each other during dinner, which made the staff uncomfortable’.
Mr Blair’s allies have been rocked by the ‘Wendi and Tony’ headlines.
One female former Labour Minister and ally confronted him: ‘Tony, look me in the eyes and tell me you did not have an affair with Wendi.’ Mr Blair insisted he had not.
Others have claimed he did not reciprocate Ms Deng’s feelings but was simply trying to help her cope with her marriage problems.
Mr Blair’s friends deny he had an affair with Ms Deng and the Mail on Sunday has no evidence to the contrary.
But 82-year-old Mr Murdoch, chairman of the News Corp media giant, claims he was deceived – and the furore shows no sign of going away.
The Mail on Sunday has been told that the warm feelings of Ms Deng for Mr Blair were clear in a cache of emails sent from her newscorp.com email address to Mr Blair and others. Mr Blair replied to many of them.
An ally of Mr Blair said: ‘Ms Deng was assisting with Mr Blair’s Foundation and he is godfather to one of her children. It would be odd if they didn’t exchange emails. They were not intimate.’
The 300 pages of emails – some of which were sent between Ms Deng and Mr Blair – came to light, along with her private note praising his ‘good body,’ as Mr Murdoch was preparing for the divorce proceedings that led to the end of their marriage in November last year.
It was a ‘careless’ email by Ms Deng, thought to have been sent to the wrong person by mistake, that is believed to have given away her meetings with Mr Blair in the first place.
Read more: Daily Mail