Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch has revealed that he’s engaged to his girlfriend, Ann Lesley-Smith.
Murdoch, who has only known Lesley-Smith for six months, admitted that he was anxious about proposing to her even though he has already done so four times in the past.
Read on for more details.
Rupert Murdoch Is Engaged To Ann Lesley-Smith
The Australian-American businessman revealed per the New York Post that he is engaged to Lesley-Smith and plans to wed her later this year.
Murdoch, 92, noted that he proposed to her with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire ring that he “personally selected.” They first met in September last year at a 200-person event held at his Moraga vineyard in Bel Air, California.
“I’m one-fourth Irish,” he told the publication, revealing he proposed to her on St. Patrick’s Day. “I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love, but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”
The couple first sparked dating rumors when they were seen together on a Barbados vacation in January at the request of British billionaire Anthony Bamford, the chairman of JCB.
Before now, he moved her into a new $30 million, 6,500 square foot apartment, seven-bedroom mansion and was ready to make her his fifth wife, with a source close to them saying, “Expect an announcement soon.”
‘It’s A Gift From God’
Lesley-Smith, 66, who’s the widow of late country music star Chester Smith, described her relationship with the billionaire as “a gift from God.”
“I’m a widow for 14 years. Like Rupert, my husband was a businessman. I 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 said.
She continued, “In perspective, it’s not my first rodeo, but Getting near 70 means being in the last half. I waited for the right time. Friends are happy for me.”
According to the Daily Mail, the former police chaplain was previously in an abusive marriage before meeting Chester Smith, noting that it led her to find God and become a volunteer police chaplain in Marin County, California.
“As I began to walk with God, the things of the world just seemed pointless to me,” she told America’s Christian Broadcasting Network.
Rupert Murdoch Has Been Married Four Times
The news of Murdoch’s engagement to Lesley-Smith comes barely one year after his divorce from his fourth wife, Jerry Hall, was finalized.
Murdoch was in three previous marriages before Hall, who filed for divorce from him in 2022, citing “irreconcilable differences.” He reportedly ended their relationship via email, telling her to contact him via his lawyers, per Radar Online.
He first got married in 1956 to Patricia Booker, a former flight attendant with whom he shares his first child, Prudence. They got divorced in 1967.
He later married Anna Torv, a Scottish-born cadet journalist working for his Sydney newspaper, in 1967 and got separated in 1998.
Murdoch married his third wife, Wendi Deng, in June 1999. He shares two daughters with her, Grace and Chloe. He filed for a divorce from her in 2013.
Rupert Murdoch Signed A Prenup With Jerry Hall
According to Radar Online, Murdoch made his fourth wife, Jerry Hall, sign a prenup agreement before they got married in 2016.
An insider told the news outlet at the time, “There’s too much at stake, so Rupert had Hall agree to prenuptial provisions when they married.”
“These conditions ensured that in the event of divorce, she would receive a settlement that would not allow her to interfere with the line of succession in his media empire and protect the family fortune,” the source added.
The model was said to have had a sour relationship with Murdoch’s four eldest children after she reportedly took up a “gatekeeping” role in Murdoch’s life.
“His family thought that Jerry was keeping them from him,” a source said. “She does blame the children for souring the marriage. They had a lot to say about it and a role in his personal life.”
“Jerry is truly devastated by what has happened and insists that it was all a bolt from the blue,” the source added, claiming, “She has been hurt by suggestions that she was only in it for the money.”