Rupert Murdoch engaged for sixth time, at 92

Elena Zhukova and Rupert Murdoch pictured together.

Elena Zhukova and Rupert Murdoch pictured together. Photo: Instagram/TND

Former Fox and News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch, 92, is to wed again, announcing his engagement to girlfriend Elena Zhukova.

The wedding will be held in California, at Murdoch’s vineyard and estate, Moraga, a spokesman said on Thursday (US time).

Invitations for the June wedding have already been sent.

The New York Times, which first reported the news, said Zhukova, who is from Moscow, is 67.

She is a retired molecular biologist whom Murdoch began dating in the northern summer.

Zhukova was previously married to billionaire energy investor Alexander Zhukov. Her daughter is Russian art collector and socialite Dasha Zhukova, who is is married to oligarch and former Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.

Murdoch and Zhukova were reportedly introduced through Dasha and his third wife, Wendi Deng, who are close friends.

Thursday’s announcement on behalf of the happy couple came less than a year after Murdoch split from his previous fiancee, 66-year-old dental-hygienist-turned-radio host and prison chaplain Ann Lesley Smith.

He and Smith were engaged just three weeks, after he apparently proposed on St Patrick’s Day 2023 in New York City. In the aftermath, he told the Murdoch-owned New York Post that he “dreaded falling in love”, but knew this wedding would be his last.

“It better be,” he said. “I’m happy.”

Murdoch and Smith reportedly met just a month after he split from fourth wife, Jerry Hall, in August 2022.

Murdoch has never publicly explained his split from Smith. But a source close told Vanity Fair the billionaire had become “increasingly uncomfortable” with her “outspoken evangelical views”.

However, another reported friend told other media that Smith struggled with the idea of spending her life in the spotlight like Murdoch.

“She just could not cope with being in the public eye,” they said.

“She is very private. They sat down and talked yesterday and agreed it was better for them to part.”

Murdoch’s first marriage was to Patricia Booker in 1956. They divorced in 1967, the same year he married second wife, Anna Maria Torv. He and Torv split in 1999 and Murdoch married Deng that year. He and Deng divorced in 2013 and he married Hall in 2016.

Murdoch stepped down as News Corp boss last September. It ended a seven-decade career that began at his father’s Australian newspaper business and culminated in one of the most influential media empires.

-with AAP

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