‘I dreaded falling in love’: Rupert Murdoch engaged, prepares for fifth marriage

Billionaire media owner Rupert Murdoch is engaged to his new girlfriend, Ann Lesley Smith, less than a year after his divorce from fourth wife Jerry Hall.

The 92-year Australian-born mogul told the New York Post, one of his own newspapers, that he had proposed to Smith, 66, with an Asscher cut diamond that he personally selected.

Rupert Murdoch is engaged to Ann Lesley Smith.Credit:AP

Murdoch, who owns titles including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, as well as The Times in the UK and Fox News in the US, said he was “very nervous” about popping the question again after four previous marriages, but insisted this wedding will be his last.

“I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy,” he said.

Murdoch met Smith, a former San Francisco police chaplain, six months ago after his divorce from Hall was finalised.

He proposed in New York on St Patrick’s Day. The couple will divide their time between the UK, California, New York and Montana.

“We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together,” he said.

Smith said her late husband, Chester, had worked for local papers, developed radio and TV stations and helped promote Univision.

“So I speak Rupert’s language. We share the same beliefs,” she said.

“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.”

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