Rupert Murdoch to marry for fifth time after engagement to Ann Lesley Smith
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has told of his nerves after becoming engaged for the fifth time, according to a US publication.
The 92-year-old joked it “better be” his last engagement, referencing being wed four times previously.
His most recent divorce from Jerry Hall was finalised in August last year, following a six-year marriage.
Mr Murdoch, who said he is “one-fourth Irish”, proposed to Ann Lesley Smith during St Patrick’s Day festivities in New York with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire engagement ring that he “personally selected”.
Announcing the engagement in the New York Post, which is owned by Mr Murdoch’s News Corporation, he said the couple met in September 2022 at his vineyard Moraga in Bel Air, California.
Mr Murdoch, 92, said: “I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love – but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.
“She and her husband also owned a vineyard and had been in the wine business. Last year when there was 200 people at my vineyard, I met her and we talked a bit. Two weeks later I called her.”
Former San Francisco police chaplain Ms Smith, 66, whose late husband was country musician Chester 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. We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together.”
The wedding is set for late summer and the couple will split their time between California, the UK, Montana and New York, it was announced.
Mr Murdoch previously married Hall in 2016, while his third wife was Wendi Deng, mother to two of his children, but they split in June 2013.
He was married to his second wife Anna Murdoch, with whom he shares three children, from 1967 until 1999 while his first wife was flight attendant Patricia Booker, with whom he shares a daughter.