Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Ann Lesley Smith call off engagement - GulfToday

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Ann Lesley Smith call off engagement


Rupert Murdoch and Ann Lesley Smith. File

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former San Francisco police chaplain Ann Lesley Smith have called off their engagement, a source confirmed on Tuesday.

The 92-year-old announced his planned nuptials less than a month ago, telling his own New York Post that he would wed Ann Lesley Smith and the pair would spend "the second half of our lives together." But Vanity Fair, citing unnamed sources close to Murdoch, said the wedding plans were suddenly halted.

The magazine reported one source saying Murdoch had become uncomfortable about 66-year-old Smith's evangelical views. The ceremony had been planned for summer, a year after Murdoch's divorce from his fourth wife, model Jerry Hall. It would have been his fifth marriage.

Murdoch and Smith, 66, met in September at his vineyard Moraga in Bel Air, California, and he called her two weeks later, Murdoch told News Corp-owned New York Post, which broke the news of the engagement.

Smith is a widow whose late husband was Chester Smith, a country singer, radio and TV executive.

On March 17 in New York, Murdoch presented Smith with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire ring, according to the Post.

"I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last. It better be," he told the New York Post. "I'm happy." The pair met last year at an event he hosted at his vineyard in California.

"In perspective, it's not my first rodeo. Getting near 70 means being in the last half," said Smith. "I waited for the right time. Friends are happy for me."

Murdoch, who has six children, was first married to Patricia Booker, an Australian flight attendant, whom he divorced in the late 1960s. He and his second wife, Anna Torv, a newspaper reporter, were together more than 30 years before divorcing in 1999. His third marriage to Wendi Deng ended in 2013.

The Australian Murdoch, whose media empire includes The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and other influential outlets, is worth more than $20 billion, according to Forbes.


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