(Image courtesy: David Bailey)
Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch has announced his engagement to former San Francisco police chaplain Ann Lesley Smith, in what will be his fifth marriage.
“I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love – but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy,” he told the publication.
Murdoch proposed to 66-year-old Smith on St. Patrick’s Day in New York City with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire ring.
The pair, who first met back in September at Murdoch’s vineyard in Moraga in Bel Air, California, plan on getting married in the summer.
“We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together,” said Murdoch, whose media empire includes The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Sky News, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and others.
Smith was previously married to the late Chester Smith, a country singer, radio and TV executive.
“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 told the publication.
In light of the news, we deiced to take a look back at Murdoch’s past relationships.
Here’s everything we know about his four marriages and six children.
Murdoch was 25 when he married his first wife, Patricia Booker, a Melbourne flight attendant and former shop assistant, in 1956.
Not much is known about the pair’s relationships but they had one daughter, Prudence, in 1958.
After 11 years of marriage, the couple divorced in 1967.
Anna Maria Torv.
The same year Murdoch divorced Booker, he married Anna Maria Torv, a Scottish-born cadet journalist working at The Daily Telegraph in Sydney.
This would be Murdoch’s longest marriage, lasting 32 years.
During that time, the couple welcomed three children together: Elisabeth Murdoch in 1968, Lachlan Murdoch in 1971 and James Murdoch in 1972.
They later divorced in June 1999.
Later speaking about their relationship in a 2001 interview with Women’s Weekly, 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.”
Murdoch and Deng divorced in 2013 (Image: PA)
Just 17 days after his divorce from Torv, Murdoch married his third wife, Chinese-born businesswoman, Wendi Deng.
At the time, he was 68, and Deng was 30.
The pair met two years earlier at a company party in Hong Kong while Deng was an intern at a TV station owned by News Corp.
They later went on to welcome two daughters together, Grace, born in 2001 and Chloe, born in 2003.
During the later years of their marriage, rumours of Deng’s closeness with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair – who is also the godfather to Grace, began circulating.
In 2013, a spokesperson for Blair denied the rumours in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, but it did little to quell the story.
Rupert Murdoch pictured with Ann Lesley Smith, 66, at Barbados
The couple announced their divorce months later, with Murdoch citing an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage.
The following year, in 2014, Vanity Fair published a note written by Deng about a man named Tony.
“He is so so charming and his clothes are so good. He has such [a] good body and he has really really good legs,” the note read.
Murdoch met American actor and supermodel Jerry Hall, who had a long-term relationship with Mick Jagger and is the mother to four of Jagger’s children, in 2015.
At the time, Hall was in Australia touring in the stage adaption of The Graduate.
The couple later announced their engagement in January 2016 and months later, they married in March.
At the time of his marriage, the billionaire announced on Twitter that he was “the luckiest AND happiest man in world”.
Before the wedding, a friend of the couple told The Guardian: “They are very sweet together, in a little couple bubble. They act like a married couple already, talking over each other, holding hands. She puts her feet up on his legs, they disagree on things like any married couple. She hates Trump, he understands Trump, it’s been like that from the beginning.”
However, after six years of marriage, Murdoch and Hall finalised their divorce in August 2022.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Coverpage’s editorial stance.