Rupert Murdoch just can’t stay single.
Less than a year after divorcing Jerry Hall, the 92-year-old Fox mogul is hearing wedding bells again. He’s engaged to Ann Lesley Smith, a 66-year-old San Francisco police chaplain. According to gossip columnist Cindy Adams, who broke the story in the New York Post, Murdoch’s future wife was previously married to Chester Smith, a country-western singer, as well as a radio and TV executive who died in 2008. A spokesperson for Murdoch confirmed the engagement to Variety.
Adams reports that the two bonded over their shared knowledge of the media business as well as the fact that she once owned a vineyard and he still does.
If they tie the knot, it will be Murdoch’s fifth marriage. Hall, a model and actress, was married to Murdoch for six years. In addition to Hall, Murdoch was previously married to Wendi Deng from 1999 to 2013; Anna Maria Torv from 1967 to 1999; and Patricia Booker from 1956 to 1967.
“I was very nervous,” Murdoch told Adams. “I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”
The news comes as Murdoch is facing a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox by Dominion Voting. The technology company alleges that Fox News anchors made knowingly false claims about Dominion’s influence on the 2020 election, implying that it rigged the race to favor Joe Biden.
Murdoch serves as chairman of Fox Corporation, a publicly traded entity that controls Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports, Fox Business and Fox News. As the head of News Corporation, he also owns the New York Post, in addition to the Wall Street Journal, The Sun and book publisher Harper Collins.