Murdoch THANKS Wife for Slapping Pie Attacker

7/22/2011 6:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Rupert Murdoch's wife -- the lady who smacked the HOLY CRAP out of the man who tried to hit her hubby with a pie -- says her efforts didn't go unappreciated ... because Rupert has since THANKED her for the slap heard 'round the world. 

Wendi Deng was hanging out in her hotel in NYC yesterday -- when photogs asked, "What did Rupert think [about the attack]?"

With a great big smile on her face, Wendi replied, "He thanked me for it."

You're damn right he did ... nobody messes with The Deng.