Rupert Murdoch has revealed that he’s engaged to Ann Lesley Smith just six months after the pair first met.
The 92-year-old billionaire announced his engagement to Ann Lesley Smith, 66, in an interview published Monday in the New York Post, which is part of his sprawling media empire.
Murdoch said he proposed to the former police chaplain with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire on St. Patrick’s Day. “I was very nervous,” Murdoch told the Post. “I dreaded falling in love—but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”
The pair revealed that they first met at Murdoch’s vineyard in Bel Air, California, last September—the month after Murdoch’s divorce from his fourth wife, Jerry Hall, was finalized.
The Daily Beast reported last month that Murdoch was considering popping the question to Smith, the widow of country music singer Chester Smith. “In perspective, it’s not my first rodeo,” Smith told the Post. “Getting near 70 means being in the last half. I waited for the right time. Friends are happy for me.”
Murdoch’s associates say his preference for marriage over dating stems from his Catholic faith, but even they might be surprised by the breakneck speed with which he’s accelerated his relationship with Smith. The pair had previously been spotted together at the Super Bowl in Arizona and on vacation in Barbados.
Murdoch says he had spoken to Smith at the 200-person event at his Moraga vineyard but then waited two weeks to call her again. They’re now looking to get married in late summer. “We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together,” Murdoch said, adding that they plan to split their time together between New York, Montana, California, and the U.K.
From his four previous marriages, Murdoch has six children. He had daughter Prudence MacLeod, 64, a newspaper executive, with his first wife Patricia Booker, a flight attendant and model. Murdoch and Booker married in Australia in 1956 when Murdoch was 25 and divorced in 1967.
The following year he tied the knot with Scottish-born journalist Anna Torv after she interviewed him for his Sydney Daily Mirror. Together they had three children—Elisabeth, 53, Lachlan, and James, 49—before their divorce after 32 years of marriage in 1999.
Within days of the split, Murdoch married Chinese-born entrepreneur Wendi Deng. Murdoch and Deng first met in 1997 while she worked at his Star TV station in Hong Kong. They had two children—Grace, 21, and Chloe, 19. Deng and Murdoch divorced in 2014.
Two years later, in 2016, Murdoch announced his engagement to model Jerry Hall. The pair married shortly before Murdoch’s 85th birthday in London. The couple did not have any children before news emerged last June that they were planning to go their separate ways.