After four divorces, many would have given up on the promise of marriage. But not Rupert Murdoch, who has proposed to his new girlfriend Ann Lesley Smith just months after finalising his split from Jerry Hall.
Murdoch, 92, shared the news of his impending nuptials in an interview with the New York Post (which he owns), revealing he presented Smith, 66, with an Asscher cut diamond he had ‘personally selected’ in New York City on St Patrick’s Day. The billionaire media mogul added he was ‘nervous’ and is confident this marriage will be his ‘last’.
The couple also revealed they are wasting no time and plan to marry in late summer. Murdoch, a father-of-six, met Smith, a former police chaplain and the widow of late country music singer Chester Smith, at his vineyard in Bel Air, California, last September. Smith insisted she has lots in common with her beau.
‘I’m a widow of 14 years,’ she told the publication. ‘Like Rupert, my husband was a businessman. Worked for local papers, developed radio and TV stations and helped promote Univision. So I speak Rupert’s language. We share the same beliefs. In perspective, it’s not my first rodeo. Getting near 70 means being in the last half. I waited for the right time. Friends are happy for me.’
Murdoch has six children from his previous marriages: Prudence MacLeod, 64, from first wife Patricia Booker; Elisabeth, 53, Lachlan, 50, and James, 49, from second wife Anna dePeyster (formerly Mann); and Grace, 21, and Chloe, 19, from third wife Wendi Deng. He shares no children with his fourth wife, Jerry Hall.
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Hall and Murdoch tied the knot in 2016, with a civil ceremony at Spencer House on 4 March, followed by a blessing at St Bride’s Church the following day, which was attended by famous faces including David Bailey, Bob Geldof, Sir Michael Caine, Bianca Jagger and Tracey Emin, along with the couple’s respective children from their previous relationships. It marked the fourth marriage for Murdoch, but the first for Hall (she had a Hindu wedding ceremony in Bali with her former partner, Mick Jagger, in 1990, but the ‘marriage’ was later declared invalid under both Indonesian and English law).
Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch finalised their divorce in August 2022, a month before he met Smith and a year after they were last seen together in public. He was married to Deng from 1999 to 2013; Anna dePeyster (née Torv) from 1967 to 1999; and Patricia Booker from 1956 to 1967.