Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch has revealed that he is engaged to new girlfriend Ann Lesley Smith, just six months after the pair first met – and less than a year after his divorce from fourth wife Jerry Hall was finalized.
The 92-year-old shared the news in an interview with one of his own publications – the New York Post – this morning, revealing that he popped the question to Smith, 66, with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire ring, which he ‘personally selected’.
Murdoch, who has been married four times previously, admitted that he was ‘nervous’ about popping the question yet again, confessing that he had ‘dreaded falling in love’ – but said that he is confident his marriage to Smith will be his ‘last’.
‘I was very nervous,’ he shared, while revealing that the pair plan to wed this year, in late summer. ‘I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.’
The newly-engaged billionaire – who is worth an estimated $17 billion – popped the question in New York City on St. Patrick’s Day, joking in the interview: ‘I’m one-fourth Irish.’
Rupert Murdoch has revealed that he is engaged again – to new girlfriend Ann Lesley Smith (pictured) – just six months after the pair first met and less than a year after his fourth divorce
The 92-year-old met Smith (seen together right at the Super Bowl with Elon Musk), 66, in September last year at a 200-person event held at his Moraga vineyard in Bel Air, California
Murdoch finalized his divorce from his fourth wife, Jerry Hall (seen on their wedding day), in August 2022 following six years of marriage
The businessman – whose relationship with Smith was exclusively revealed by the Daily Mail in January – revealed that he and Smith met last September at his Moraga vineyard in Bel Air, California, explaining that he phoned her two weeks after meeting her at a 200-person event.
Meanwhile Smith, a former police chaplain and the widow of late country music star Chester Smith, described the relationship as ‘a gift from God’, revealing that the pair ‘share the same beliefs’ and ‘speak the same language’.
‘I’m a widow 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,’ she shared.
Smith continued that she feels she ‘waited for the right time’ to get engaged again, adding that her ‘friends are happy for her’.
The summer wedding will mark the fifth time that Murdoch has tied the knot.
He has six children from his previous marriages: daughter Prudence MacLeod, now 64, with his first wife Patricia Booker, daughter Elisabeth, now 53, and sons Lachlan, now 50, and James, now 49, with his second wife Anna Mann, and daughter Grace, now 21, and Chloe, now 19, who he shares with his third wife Wendi Deng.
Murdoch and his fourth wife, former supermodel Hall, did not have any children together during their six-year marriage, which ended last year.
The pair tied the knot in London in March 2016 in a very low-key ceremony at Spencer House, which overlooks Green Park, after a whirlwind five-month romance.
The 92-year-old shared the news in an interview with one of his own publications – the New York Post – revealing that he proposed to Smith (seen together in January), 66, with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire ring
The businessman – whose relationship with Smith (pictured on vacation with Murdoch earlier this year) was exclusively revealed by the Daily Mail in January – revealed that he and Smith met last September at his Moraga vineyard in Bel Air, California
Murdoch married his first wife, former flight attendant Patricia, in 1956, however the pair split in 1967, nine years after the birth of their only child, Prudence.
That same year, he tied the knot with his second wife, Anna, a Glasgow-born journalist to whom he was married for 32 years, before their divorce in 1999.
As part of their divorce settlement, Anna was awarded $1.7 billion, including $10 million in cash, according to CNBC.
Murdoch went on to marry Wendi just 17 days after he divorced second wife Anna. At the time of their wedding Murdoch was 68, while Wendi was just 30 years old.
That marriage lasted 14 years, before it was announced that the pair were divorcing, with a News Corp spokesperson revealing in June 2013 that their union had been ‘irretrievably broken for more than six months’.
Smith has been married twice before – most recently to country music star Chester, who passed away of a heart attack in August 2008 at the age of 78.
Prior to that relationship, Smith was married to John B. Huntington, an attorney who was a descendant of one of California’s pioneering railroad families.
According to interviews given by Smith, their life together was gilded but miserable – with the former police chaplain telling the Christian Broadcasting Network that Huntington ‘physically and mentally abused her’.
Murdoch has been married four times in the past. He wed his third wife Wendi Deng in June 1999 and the pair had two daughters, Chloe and Grace (seen in 2019), before divorcing in 2013
He married second wife, journalist Anna Torv, in 1967, shortly after he divorced his first spouse Patricia Booker. Murdoch had three children with Anna: daughter Elisabeth and sons Lachlan and James (pictured together)
‘At times it was wonderful. It’s the kind of marriage anybody would have loved to have had. During the day he would shower gifts on me and praise,’ she shared.
‘When John started drinking, he became a different person. He would lock me out of the house. He physically abused me, mentally abused me, emotionally… which is worse than physical because you start to believe the lies.’
After the pair divorced, Smith said that she was left contemplating suicide ‘because her life was so bad’, explaining to CBN that she was incredibly ‘ashamed’ by how her marriage had ended.
‘I really wanted to commit suicide because my life was so bad,’ she said. ‘Everything was just too much. I was thinking that if I drive my car real fast into someone else, then I’d end it. Well, I was driving recklessly. I wanted it to happen, [but] it didn’t.’
It was then that Smith turned to religion, explaining that she was given a book called The Four Spiritual Laws which prompted her to ‘get down on her knees… and pray for God to help me’.
‘As I began to walk with God, the things of the world just seemed pointless to me,’ she added.