Fifth Time’s a Charm! All About Rupert Murdoch’s Fiancée—And His Previous Four Wives
Do you think they'll cover this on "Succession?"
Rupert Murdoch’s fiancée Ann Lesley Smith has been thrust into the spotlight with the news of their surprise engagement. The controversial news magnate has decided to walk down the aisle with Smith, who is almost 30 years his junior. With a net worth of around $17.3 billion as of this writing, that definitely makes dating a wee bit easier for the 92-year-old.
In fact, Murdoch has had no shortage of women in his life. The Australian-businessman has been through several marriages (and divorces) in his near-century of living. Who are his previous wives—and just who is Ann Lesley Smith?
Here is everything you need to know about Rupert Murdoch’s wives and current fiancée Ann Lesley Smith.
Is Rupert Murdoch engaged?
Surprise! Rupert Murdoch has announced he will be walking down the aisle once more at the age of 92. The shocking engagement was revealed on Monday, March 20, 2023. The tycoon reportedly met his new fiancée Ann Lesley Smith about six months earlier in September when she visited his Moraga Estate vineyard in Bel Air, California. The engagement comes only months after the finalization of Murdoch’s divorce from former model Jerry Hall in August 2022.
The engagement took place in New York on St. Patrick’s Day due to the News Corp. founder’s purported “one-fourth Irish” heritage. Murdoch, who proposed with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire, discussed his feelings around popping the question. “I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love, but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”
The pair is apparently looking toward a late summer wedding, with Murdoch saying, “We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together.”
At 92 we don’t know about “second half,” but anything is possible with science and a billion-dollar fortune.
Related: Rupert Murdoch Engaged 7 Months After Finalizing Jerry Hall Divorce
Who is Rupert Murdoch's fiancée?
Rupert Murdoch’s fiancée is 66-year-old Ann Lesley Smith. Smith was formerly a police chaplain in San Francisco, in addition to working as a model, singer and radio talk show host. She was previously married to late country singer Chester Smith for three years until his death in 2008 at the age of 78.
Smith has called meeting her 92-year-old businessman fiancé “a gift from God.” She added, “I’m a widow [of] 14 years. 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.”
How many wives has Rupert Murdoch had?
Rupert Murdoch has been married four times. His previous wives are: former flight attendant Patricia Booker, journalist Anna Murdoch Mann, entrepreneur Wendi Deng and former model Jerry Hall.
Related: Rupert Murdoch Will Be Getting Divorced for Fourth Time, Per Report
Why is Rupert divorcing Jerry?
Rupert Murdoch and former wife Jerry Hall finalized their divorce in August 2022, around a month before he met his new fiancée. The pair originally married in London in 2016. In her divorce filing, Hall cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reasoning behind the split, though it has been reported it was Murdoch who wanted to end the union.
Murdoch is said to have informed his fourth wife of his desire to separate via email, before directing all further questions to his lawyers. This came after months of pandemic lockdowns that are rumored to have taken a toll on the relationship. In addition, it has been speculated that Hall repeatedly clashed with Murdoch’s children from his previous marriages.
Who are the 4 wives of Rupert Murdoch?
Rupert Murdoch is preparing to walk down the aisle for a fifth time this summer. He has previously been married four times. Here is everything we know about his previous four wives:
Rupert Murdoch and first wife Patricia Booker were married from 1956 until 1967. Booker, who hailed from Melbourne, Australia, was a former flight attendant and department store model. The couple, who wed when Murdoch was 25, share a daughter, Prudence Murdoch, a newspaper executive.
A year after finalizing his first divorce, Rupert Murdoch married Anna Torv, now Anna Murdoch Mann. Torv and Murdoch had a long marriage that lasted from 1967 until 1999—a whopping 32 years! Torv is a Scottish former newspaper journalist who met Murdoch when she was working for his Sydney newspaper, The Daily Mirror. She was a main board director of her husband’s company News Corp. from 1990 until their separation in 1998.
The couple had three children during the marriage: media executive Elisabeth Murdoch, businessman Lachlan Murdoch and former 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch.
Of their divorce, Torv said, “I began to think the Rupert Murdoch that I loved died a long time ago. Perhaps I was in love with the idea of still being in love with him. But the Rupert I fell in love with could not have behaved this way.”
Fun fact, The Last of Us actress Anna Torv is her niece!
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Rupert Murdoch met his third wife, businesswoman Wendi Deng, in 1997 when he was still married to his second wife. The Chinese-born Deng, who was over 30 years younger than the media mogul, was an intern at a TV station owned by Murdoch’s News Corp. when the two crossed paths. They married just 17 days after his divorce from his second wife of 32 years was finalized.
Deng is an entrepreneur, investor, movie producer and media businesswoman in addition to being an avid art Chinese contemporary art collector. She produced the Netflix documentary Sky Ladder amongst other productions.
Deng and Murdoch were married from 1999 until 2014, though according to divorce papers filed by Murdoch, there was an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage for more than six months that was cited as the reason for the divorce. Deng reportedly found out about the impending divorce by reading a report in her husband’s newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. The split came amongst rumors of infidelity on Deng’s side, specifically with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, though both have denied the purported relationship. Murdoch and Deng share two children, Grace and Chloe.
Rupert Murdoch married his fourth wife Jerry Hall in 2016 after having met her the year before. The wedding took place at St. Bride’s church in London a week before Murdoch’s 85th birthday. Like several of his partners, Hall was also almost 30 years younger than the newspaper tycoon. The duo were married from 2016 until 2022, with the divorce being finalized in August of that year.
Hall is an American former model and actress who was at one time one of the biggest models in the world during the 1970s. Her most well-known acting role is in 1989’s Batman. She was previously the partner of Rolling Stones lead singer Sir Mick Jagger for over 20 years, though the pair’s 1992 Bali wedding was ultimately deemed legally void during their separation. They had four children together during their relationship.
Hall and Murdoch share no children.
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What happened to Rupert Murdoch's wives?
Rupert Murdoch’s first wife Patricia Booker reportedly died in 2000. Not much is known about the businessman’s first wife, but she is said to have remarried following their divorce.
Rupert Murdoch and his second wife, Anna Torv, had the longest marriage of his four, lasting 32 years. Torv and Murdoch had an acrimonious divorce, with the former journalist saying, “He behaved badly. However, for my children's sake, I have said nothing... I've waited all this time for him to make it right again, but he never took the opportunity."
Murdoch met his future third wife, Wendi Deng, while still married to his second, and reportedly married Deng just 17 days after the finalization of his divorce. Torv is reported to have received around $1 billion in her divorce settlement, though she has neglected to confirm the amount. She was married twice since her divorce from Murdoch, first to William Mann in 1999 until his death in 2017 and again in 2019 to Ashton dePeyster.
Murdoch’s third wife, Wendi Deng, has continued working as a businesswoman following their divorce. She produced a Netflix documentary in 2016 and co-hosted the Met Gala in 2015. The aftermath of their tumultuous divorce led to Deng’s reputation taking a hit among rumors that Deng had had an affair with former British Prime Minister —and longtime Murdoch friend— Tony Blair.
One of Murdoch’s newspapers, The Wall Street Journal, published a report in 2018 suggesting that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, longtime friends of Deng’s, were warned by US intelligence agencies that she may have been using her association with them to push forward the agenda of the Chinese government. However, Fire and Fury: Inside the White House author Michael Wolff has posited that this was an attempt by Murdoch to spread a ruinous claim about his ex and Deng has dismissed all claims.
Murdoch’s fourth wife, Jerry Hall, was reportedly devastated by her divorce from the 92-year-old, though a statement put out by the two’s lawyers claimed, “They remain good friends and wish each other the best for the future.”
It has been reported that even in the face of a prenup, Hall was able to receive a settlement that entitled her to two homes and an estimated $305 million, though sources around Murdoch have put the number closer to $53 million. It is not yet known how Hall feels about her ex-husband’s new engagement so close to the finalization of their divorce. She was seen looking glamorous in September 2022 while enjoying Paris Fashion Week, so she seems to be doing well following the breakup.
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