The British media tycoon has taken his relationship with girlfriend to the next level after just six months of dating by popping the big question on St. Patrick’s Day.
AceShowbiz –Rupert Murdoch has proposed to his girlfriend. Despite previously saying he “dreaded” falling in love again, the 92-year-old media mogul – who has been married four times in the past – is very happy with Ann Lesley Smith, 66, so popped the question on St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, March 17 after six months together.
“I’m one-fourth Irish,” he told the New York Post newspaper’s columnist Cindy Adams of the significance of the date.
Rupert personally selected the Asscher-cut diamond solitaire which he proposed with and admitted he was “very nervous” about asking the former police chaplain to be his wife. He said, “I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love – but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”
The bride-to-be – who was previously married to late country singer and media executive Chester Smith – hailed her relationship with Rupert a “gift from God.” She said, “For us both it’s a gift from God. We met last September.”
“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. In perspective, it’s not my first rodeo. Getting near 70 means being in the last half. I waited for the right time. Friends are happy for me.”
The couple met at the newspaper baron’s vineyard Moraga in Bel Air, California, just weeks after he finalised his divorce from Jerry Hall. He said, “She and her husband also owned a vineyard and had been in the wine business. Last year when there was 200 people at my vineyard, I met her and we talked a bit. Two weeks later I called her…We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together.”
The wedding is due to take place in late summer, and friends and a personal shopper are helping Ann scour designers and stores to find her dress for the big day. After they marry, the couple plan to divide their time between the UK, New York, Montana and California.
The media tycoon – who owns both The Times and The Sun newspapers in the UK – was first married to Patricia Booker, with whom he had Prudence, 64, before splitting from her in 1967.
He then married his second wife Anna Maria Torv later that year and the couple had Elisabeth, 53, Lachlan, 50 and James, 49 together but he went on to marry Wendi Deng in 1999, just days after his divorce from Anna. However, Rupert and Wendi – who have children Grace, 20, and Chloe, 19, together – divorced in 2013.
He married Jerry in a civil ceremony at Spencer House in London on March 4, 2016, before holding a wedding service at Fleet Street’s St. Brides Church the next day, but the pair split last summer, with their divorce finalised in August.
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