Rupert Murdoch is hoping the fifth time’s a charm.
The 92-year-old executive chairman of News Corp recently announced his engagement to Ann Lesley Smith. This is the fifth time Murdoch will stroll down the aisle.
Rupert Murdoch engaged to Ann Lesley Smith https://t.co/qGLE1Om9q9 pic.twitter.com/9qwIJpkche
— New York Post (@nypost) March 20, 2023
Murdoch first went public with the news in an interview with gossip columnist Cindy Adams in the New York Post, a tabloid he owns. He said he popped the question to his bride-to-be on St. Patricks Day in New York.
“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.
Related: How Great Entrepreneurs Find Ways to Win During Economic Downturns
Who is Ann Lesley Smith?
Smith, 66, began her career as a dental hygienist and has also been a model and a singer.
Her first marriage to wealthy attorney John B. Huntington made her a multimillionaire socialite overnight. But the emotionally abusive relationship ended badly, and she lost almost everything—thanks to a prenup, she told the Christian Broadcast Network.
Her second marriage to country music star Chester Smith went much more harmoniously until he died in 2008 from a heart attack. The two recorded an album together.
Like Murdoch, Smith was also a radio and TV executive. He founded Sainte Television Group, the largest privately-owned broadcast company with stations. He died in 2008.
“I’m a widow 14 years,” said Smith. “My husband was a businessman… So I speak Rupert’s language. We share the same beliefs,” she said.
After her husband’s death, Smith became a police chaplain for the San Francisco Police Department.
“When I go on my calls, and I’m dealing with people who are in a lot of pain, I say, ‘I’ve been here. I’ve been here, and you can get out.’ It gives them hope,” she said.
They met at a party
Murdoch and Smith first connected at a bash Murdoch hosted at his vineyard Moraga in Bel Air, California, a few years ago. She and her husband were also in the wine business and knew the Murdochs.
Last year, when there were 200 people at my vineyard, I met her, and we talked a bit. Two weeks later, I called her,” Murdoch explained.
The couple went public with their romance a few months after Murdoch, and his former wife, Jerry Hall, finalized their divorce.
According to Adams, they plan to tie the know at the end of the summer.
“It’s not my first rodeo. Getting near 70 means being in the last half. I waited for the right time,” Smith said.
Murdoch seems equally enthusiastic. “We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together,” he said.