This reporting is one of several scoops featured in this week’s edition of Confider, the newsletter pulling back the curtain on the media. Subscribe here and send your questions, tips, and complaints here.
Rupert Murdoch, 91, is loved up and talking to friends about getting hitched for the fifth time, Confider has learned.
Rupes has been dating Ann-Lesley Smith, 66, a one-time police chaplain, since the fall and is seriously considering proposing, according to two people familiar with the matter.
“Love is in the air,” a friend of Murdoch’s told Confider. “He’s happy and having a good time.”
The media mogul has been spotted with Smith, the widow of country music crooner Chester Smith, holidaying in Barbados and at the Super Bowl in Arizona.
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Their romance comes just months after his divorce from Jerry Hall was finalized after six years of marriage. The couple split in part because of Hall’s behavior towards Murdoch’s daughters with his third wife Wendi Deng, according to people familiar with the matter. Confider previously reported that Lachlan Murdoch also played a role in the split, having advised his dad to dump Hall and consulted on the PR fallout.
Why would a nonagenarian be keen on marriage after just months of dating? Friends say it’s largely to do with religion: When asked, Murdoch cites his Catholic faith for why he prefers marriage over dating. (No word on what his religion says about being divorced four times over.)
Meantime, Smith has spoken about how the breakdown of her first marriage led to her finding God. “The Lord gave me thirst and a hunger for him, and I actually replaced the things of the world with the Scriptures,” she told Christian Broadcast Network in a rare interview. “As I began to walk with God, the things of the world just seemed pointless to me.”
A spokesperson for Murdoch declined to comment.
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