Rupert Murdoch’s Engagement To Ann Lesley Smith Is Off
UPDATED: Rupert Murdoch and Ann Lesley Smith are no longer engaged, Deadline has confirmed, only weeks after news that the two were planning to tie the knot this summer. Smith was set to be wife No. 5 for the media mogul and chairman of Fox Corp.
PREVIOUSLY, March 20: Rupert Murdoch is engaged — again.
The 92-year-old billionaire announced, via an interview with the New York Post, that he will wed Ann Lesley Smith, the former San Francisco Police chaplain who is 26 years his junior.
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Murdoch divorced Jerry Hall, his fourth wife, last August. Speaking of his new love, he told the Post‘s Cindy Adams: “I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”
Murdoch said he nervously popped the question last week on St. Patrick’s Day in New York, adorning Smith’s finger with an Asscher-cut diamond engagement ring. They will marry in late summer.
He told the Post that they met at his vineyard Moraga in Bel Air, CA. Smith’s late husband Chester Smith, the country singer, also owned a vineyard, so the pair hit it off discussing wine.
“We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together,” said Murdoch, who plans to split his time with his new wife between California, the UK, Montana, and New York.
Smith said: “For us both it’s a gift from God. We met last September. 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.
“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 previously been married to Hall, Wendi Deng, Anna Torv and Patricia Booker. He has six children including Elisabeth, Lachlan and James, who were from his marriage to Torv.
Jill Goldsmith contributed to this report
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