Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife Wendi Deng is bizarrely rumoured to be dating Vladimir Putin

The ex-wife of newspaper tycoon Rupert Murdoch has bizarrely been romantically linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The surreal news comes from US Weekly magazine, who specify that the story is “serious” one day before April Fools.

News Corp owner Mr Murdoch tied the knot in 1999 to Wendi Deng, 38 years his junior.

His wife made the news herself when she blocked a pie-wielding prankster from reaching her husband during the UK Parliament’s Leveson Inquiry. The pair divorced in 2013.

President Putin, for his part, is a confirmed bachelor (but not like that), having split from his ex-wife Lyudmila Shkrebneva in 2014.

Ms Deng and the Russian President are rumoured to have been introduced by Russian billionaire and Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich, an ally of the President.

According to the magazine, Ms Deng was spotted boarding Mr Abramovich’s yacht in St Bart’s on Monday.

The report adds that rumours of the pairing has been “floating around for years” – though it’s definitely a first for us.

It’s not the first time Ms Deng has been linked to a world leader though – former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has repeatedly denied any “impropriety” relating to Deng, after tabloid gossip that her divorce from Mr Murdoch came after she developed ‘warm feelings’ for the politician.

Neither Ms Deng nor President Putin have commented on the most recent rumours.

Putin recently claimed to support gay equality – despite signing the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law and egging on militant anti-LGBT extremists.

In an interview with CBS, he claimed: “The problem of sexual minorities in Russia had been deliberately exaggerated from the outside for political reasons, I believe, without any good basis.”

“It’s well known that in four states in America, homosexual orientation is a crime,” he said – even thought the laws in question were struck down by the Supreme Court in 2003.

“It’s not completely removed from American legislation, but we don’t have. I definitely condemn that.”

Mr Putin then went on to say that he does not believe in the persecution of any minority – including the LGBT community.

He also claimed that Russia allows “people of non-traditional sexual orientation” to “live in peace.”

He said: “I believe there should not be any criminal prosecution or any other prosecution or infringement of people’s rights on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religious or sexual orientation.”