92-Year-Old Rupert Murdoch Will No Longer Spend ‘Second Half’ of Life With New Fiancée
Fifth time is apparently not the charm.
Rupert Murdoch has decided to call off his whirlwind engagement to former conservative radio host and Christian minister Ann Lesley Smith, according to Vanity Fair.
A spokesperson for the billionaire mogul did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The 92-year-old Fox News founder announced just last month that he had asked Smith to be his fifth wife, stating that the pair intended to wed in the summer. Murdoch split from his fourth wife, model Jerry Hall, last year after his eldest son Lachlan advised him to pull the pin on the six-year marriage.
Confider reported in February that Murdoch was seriously considering popping the question to Smith, a 66-year-old ex-police chaplain. Smith was previously married to country singer and television broadcaster Chester Smith, who died in 2008.
“Love is in the air,” a source told Confider at the time. “He’s happy and having a good time.”
The following month, Murdoch made the upcoming nuptials public via an interview with the New York Post, a key tabloid within his immense media empire. “I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love—but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy,” Murdoch said at the time.
“We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together,” the Fox Corp chairman added.
A source close to Murdoch told Vanity Fair that the media mogul called off the wedding because he’d “become increasingly uncomfortable with Smith’s outspoken evangelical views.”
However, even in the Post’s announcement, Smith’s religious views were apparent. “For us both it’s a gift from God. We met last September,” the former San Francisco police chaplain stated. “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.”
Additionally, in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Smith discussed how she’d found Jesus in a coffee shop and later became a street preacher. “When you let the Lord take control of your life, you can make it. Out of the ruins you can rise and let the oil of his anointing just be all over you,” she said at the time.
As of now, it looks like Murdoch will be stuck at four marriages. After divorcing flight attendant and model Patricia Booker in 1967, with whom he shared daughter Prudence MacLeod, he married journalist Ann Torv the following year. The couple had three children before divorcing in 1999.
Murdoch later wed Chinese-born entrepreneur Wendi Deng days after his split from Torv, having two children with her before calling it quits in 2014. Two years later, he announced his engagement to Hall, marrying her just before his 85th birthday.