Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch has revealed that he is engaged to new girlfriend Ann Lesley Smith, just six months after they first met and less than a year after his divorce from fourth wife Jerry Hall was finalized.
The 92-year-old shared the news in an interview with one of his own publications – the New York Post – this morning, March 20.
He disclosed that he popped the question to Smith, 66, with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire ring, which he personally selected.
Murdoch, who has been married four times previously, admitted that he was “nervous” about popping the question yet again. He added that he had “dreaded falling in love” but said that he is confident his marriage to Smith will be his “last”.
“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.
He has six children from his previous marriages: 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 daughter Grace, now 21, and Chloe, now 19, who he shares with his third wife Wendi Deng.
Murdoch and his fourth wife, former supermodel Hall, did not have any children together during their six-year marriage, which ended last year.
Murdoch married his first wife, former flight attendant Patricia, in 1956, however the pair split in 1967, nine years after the birth of their only child, Prudence.
That same year, he tied the knot with his second wife, Anna, a Glasgow-born journalist to whom he was married for 32 years, before their divorce in 1999.
Murdoch went on to marry Wendi just 17 days after he divorced second wife Anna. At the time of their wedding Murdoch was 68, while Wendi was just 30 years old.
That marriage lasted 14 years, before it was announced that the pair were divorcing.