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Rupert Murdoch, 92, to marry for fifth time after confirming engagement to Ann Lesley Smith

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Rupert Murdoch is set to marry for a fifth time after becoming engaged to his girlfriend, Ann Lesley Smith.

The 92-year-old joked “it better be” his last engagement after his six-year marriage to fourth wife Jerry Hall ended in divorce last August.

Mr Murdoch said he met his 66-year-old girlfriend in September at his vineyard Moraga in Bel Air, California.

He proposed 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: “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, 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.”

Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2019
Image:
Rupert Murdoch and fourth wife Jerry Hall pictured in 2019

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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’s third wife was entrepreneur Wendi Deng, mother to two of his children, but they split in 2013.

He was married to his second wife Anna Murdoch Mann, a Scottish journalist with whom he shares three children, from 1967 until 1999.

Mr Murdoch and his first wife, Patricia Booker, a former flight attendant with whom he had a daughter, divorced in 1966.

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