Rupert Murdoch, 92, has announced his engagement to his new girlfriend Ann Lesley Smith, less than a year after his divorce from his fourth wife, Jerry Hall, was finalized.
He shared the news in an interview with one of his own magazines, the New York Post, on Monday morning, stating that he proposed to his 66-year-old fiancée on St. Patrick’s Day in New York City with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire ring.
Murdoch, who has been married four times, admitted that he was ‘nervous’ about proposing yet again, admitting that he had ‘dreaded falling in love’ – but that he is convinced that his marriage to Smith will be his ‘last’.
He said, “I was very nervous,’ he shared while revealing that the pair plan to wed this year, in late summer.’I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”
The newly-engaged billionaire – who is worth an estimated $17 billion – popped the question in New York City on St. Patrick’s Day, joking in the interview: “I’m one-fourth Irish.”
The businessman revealed that he and Smith met last September at his Moraga vineyard in Bel Air, California, explaining that he phoned her two weeks after meeting her at a 200-person event.
Meanwhile, Smith, a former police chaplain and the widow of late country music star Chester Smith, described the relationship as “a gift from God”, revealing that the pair “share the same beliefs” and “speak the same language”.
She said: “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.”
The wedding will mark the fifth time that Murdoch has tied the knot.
From his previous marriages, he has six children: daughter Prudence MacLeod, now 64, with his first wife Patricia Booker, daughter Elisabeth, now 53, and sons Lachlan, now 50, and James, now 49, with his second wife Anna Mann, and daughters Grace, now 21, and Chloe, now 19, with his third wife Wendi Deng.
Murdoch and his fourth wife, former supermodel Hall, had no children during their six-year marriage, which ended in divorce last year.
Murdoch married his first wife, former flight attendant Patricia, in 1956, but the couple divorced in 1967, nine years after their only child, Prudence, was born.
The same year, he married Anna, a Glasgow-born journalist to whom he was married for 32 years before their divorce in 1999.
Murdoch married Wendi barely 17 days after divorcing his second wife, Anna. Murdoch was 68 years old when they married, while Wendi was only 30.
That marriage lasted 14 years before the couple announced their divorce.