Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch has revealed he is engaged to new girlfriend Ann Lesley Smith, just six months after the pair first met – and less than a year after finalizing his divorce from fourth wife Jerry Hall.
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 “picked out personally.”
Murdoch, who has been married four times before, admitted he was “nervous” to ask the question again, and confessed that he had “a fear of falling in love” – but said he is confident his marriage to Smith will be his last. ‘.
“I was really nervous,” he shared, revealing that the couple plans to get married this year, in late summer. “I was afraid of falling in love, but I knew it would be my last. Better off. 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 he’s engaged again – to new girlfriend Ann Lesley Smith (pictured) – just six months after the couple first met and less than a year after their fourth divorce
The 92-year-old met Smith (seen in the Super Bowl together with Elon Musk), 66, last September at a 200-person event 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 after 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, Calif., explaining that he called her two weeks after meeting her met at a 200-person event.
Meanwhile, Smith, a former police chaplain and the widow of the late country music star Chester Smith, described the relationship as “a gift from God,” showing that the couple “share the same beliefs” and “speak the same language.”
‘I am a widow 14 years. Like Rupert, my husband was a businessman. Worked for local newspapers, 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 felt like she had “waited for the right time” to get engaged again, adding that her “friends are happy for her.”
The summer wedding marks the fifth time 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, whom he shares with his third wife Wendi Deng.
Murdoch and his fourth wife, former supermodel Hall, had no children together during their six-year marriage, which ended last year.
The couple 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 66-year-old Smith (seen together in January) wearing 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, but the couple separated in 1967, nine years after the birth of their only child, Prudence.
That same year he married his second wife, Anna, a Glasgow-born journalist to whom he had been married for 32 years before their divorce in 1999.
As part of their divorce settlement, Anna received $1.7 billion, including $10 million in cash CNBC.
Murdoch married Wendi just 17 days after divorcing his second wife Anna. At the time of their marriage, Murdoch was 68, while Wendi was only 30 years old.
That marriage lasted 14 years, before it was announced that the couple 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 died of a heart attack in August 2008 at age 78.
Prior to that relationship, Smith was married to John B. Huntington, a lawyer 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 pastor taking the Christian broadcasting network that Huntington “abused her physically and mentally.”
‘It was wonderful at times. It’s the kind of marriage everyone would like to have. During the day he showered me with gifts and praise,” she shared.
“When John started drinking, he became a different person. He would shut me out. He has abused me physically, mentally, emotionally… which is worse than physically because you start to believe the lies.”
After the couple divorced, Smith said she contemplated suicide “because her life was so bad,” explaining to CBN that she was incredibly “embarrassed” about how her marriage had ended.
“I really wanted to kill myself because my life was so bad,” she said. Everything was just too much. I thought that if I hit someone else really hard with my car, I would end it. Well, I drove recklessly. I wanted it to happen [but] it didn’t.’
It was then that Smith turned to religion, explaining that she had been given a book called The Four Spiritual Laws, which prompted her to “get on her knees…and pray to God to help me.”
“When I started walking with God, the things of the world seemed meaningless to me,” she added.