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Graham Bowley, New York Times, NDTV / Updated: July 21, 2011 18:24 IST.
London: The heroics of Wendi Deng Murdoch drew gasps of awe when she lunged out of her seat in a committee room on Tuesday to protect her husband, Rupert Murdoch, from a protester wielding a shaving cream pie.
But there was another woman who actually intervened before Mrs. Murdoch did: Janet Nova, the News Corporation's interim group general counsel.
It may have gone unnoticed in the scuffle and in the media hype that ensued, but Ms. Nova was the first to react to the protester's approach. She leapt to her feet and, clutching her iPad, tried to block the man's reach toward her boss. Mrs. Murdoch followed right behind her, and she appeared to reach over Ms. Nova as she swung her arm in a great arc to deliver a sharp punch.
Ms. Nova, who is 46 and based in New York, is a graduate of Princeton and Columbia Law School who has been with the company since 1997. She was one of the troupe of lawyers and public-relationship advisers who prepared Mr. Murdoch for his appearance before a parliamentary committee looking into phone hacking by the company's British newspapers.
Through over two hours of questioning, Ms. Nova, wearing a gray suit, sat patiently a few feet behind and to the left of Mr. Murdoch. When the protester - identified in British news reports as Jonathan May-Bowles, a comedian who performs under the name Johnnie Marbles - stormed toward the witness table, Ms. Nova provided the first line of defense and Mrs. Murdoch the second, while James Murdoch, Rupert's 38-year-old son, seemed frozen in surprise.
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