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Rupert Murdoch announces engagement to Ann Lesley Smith

WSJ 2017 Innovator Awards
Rupert Murdoch

Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch is engaged to be married for the fifth time.

The 92-year-old billionaire announced on Monday that he proposed to Ann Lesley Smith, 66, on St. Patrick’s Day on Friday in New York, presenting her with an Asscher-cut diamond ring he personally selected.

“I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love – but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy,” he said to the New York Post, one of his publications.

Murdoch and Smith met at his California vineyard in September last year, shortly after he finalised his divorce from model Jerry Hall. The former San Francisco Police chaplain and her late husband Chester Smith, a country singer and radio and TV executive, previously owned a vineyard so they bonded over their shared interests.

“For us both it’s a gift from God,” Smith gushed. “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 and Smith, 26 years his junior, plan to get married in the late summer and split their time between California, Montana and New York as well as the U.K.

“We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together,” the businessman added.

Murdoch was previously married to Patricia Booker from 1956 to 1967, Anna Torv between 1967 and 1999, Wendi Deng from 1999 to 2013, and Hall between 2016 and 2022.

– Cover Media