LONDON – Rupert Murdoch’s 42-year-old wife, Wendi Murdoch, became a social media hero Tuesday after parliamentary hearings in which she landed an impressive blow on the assailant who hurled a foam pie at her husband.

Wendi Murdoch has been criticized this week for flitting around New York and Los Angeles to the premieres of her first movie, “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” which she produced, while her husband has been trying to contain the phone hacking crisis that has engulfed News Corp.

But in one swift smack, redemption was hers.

Dressed in a bright pink jacket and a black skirt, the former volleyball player leapt to strike her husband’s attacker on the head, prompting a flurry of tweets like the one from @BorowitzReport: BREAKING: Obama Invites Wendi Murdoch to Help Him Meet with Republicans. A video, meanwhile, went viral on the Internet.

Smart, fashionable and ambitious, Wendi Murdoch is the press lord’s third wife. Raised in eastern China, she moved to the United States 23 years ago and, as the Wall Street Journal first reported, attended California State University and then Yale, where she studied management.

When she moved to the United States, she initially lived with an American couple, Jake and Joyce Cherry, who sponsored her student visa. When she later moved out, Jake followed, and the two were soon married. But the nuptials were dissolved after two years.

In 1997, she met Murdoch in Hong Kong, where she was working as a senior television executive for Star TV, a News Corp. subsidiary. The couple married in 1999, three weeks after Murdoch’s divorce from Anna, his wife of 32 years.

The Murdochs live in New York with their daughters, Grace and Chloe.

Katie Couric to get talk show practice on ‘The View’

NEW YORK – Katie Couric will soon get some practice at hosting her own daytime talk show, thanks to “The View.”

Executive producer Bill Geddie said Wednesday that Couric will be a guest co-host on the ABC talk show airing live on Aug. 3.

Last month, it was announced that ABC and Disney had signed Couric as host and producer of a one-hour nationally syndicated talk show premiering in September 2012.

Kim Kardashian sues Old Navy over look-alike

LOS ANGELES – Kim Kardashian wants Old Navy to stop using a look-alike to advertise its clothing.

The reality show starlet and model on Wednesday sued the clothing store and its parent company, The Gap Inc., in a Los Angeles federal court alleging their ads violated her publicity rights with ads that feature a woman who looks like her.

A video of a broadcast ad featuring a smiling, dark-haired woman who bears a resemblance to the real Kardashian has been viewed more than two million times on Old Navy’s YouTube channel.

Kardashian’s lawsuit claims consumers may be confused by the ads and the model’s actual endorsements, which include her own clothing store and shoe line.

R.Kelly has throat surgery

CHICAGO – R&B star R. Kelly has been hospitalized after emergency throat surgery in Chicago, forcing him to give up performing for an unknown period while he recuperates, the singer’s spokesman said Wednesday.

Kelly, 44, had complained of throat pain and was rushed on Tuesday to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where surgeons the same day drained an abscess on one of his tonsils, spokesman Allan Mayer said. The Chicago native will be “laid up indefinitely,” he said.

Last year, the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B released a critically acclaimed retro-soul album, “Love Letter,” and recently completed the U.S. leg of a worldwide tour.