NEW YORK: Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has announced his engagement to his partner Ann Lesley Smith, a former police chaplain.
Murdoch, 92, and Ms Smith, 66, met in September at an event at his vineyard in California.
The businessman told the New York Post, one of his own publications: “I dreaded falling in love – but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”
He split with fourth wife Jerry Hall last year.
Murdoch added that he proposed to Smith on St Patrick’s Day, noting that he was “one fourth Irish” and had been “very nervous”.
Smith’s late husband was Chester Smith, a country singer and radio and TV executive.
“For us both it’s a gift from God. We met last September,” she told the New York Post.
“I’m a widow of 14 years. Like Rupert, my husband was a businessman… so I speak Rupert’s language. We share the same beliefs.”
Murdoch, who has six children from his first three marriages, added: “We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together.”
The wedding will take place in late summer and the couple will spend their time between California, Montana, New York and the UK.
Murdoch was previously married to Australian flight attendant Patricia Booker, Scottish-born journalist Anna Mann, and Chinese-born entrepreneur Wendi Deng.
Rupert on meeting at his vineyard Moraga in Bel Air, Calif.: “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.”
Steeped in wisdom I said ok but today it’s all about couples just living together. No ceremony. That’s the new trend. In Hollywood, they even iron out the divorce settlement before rushing ahead with any wedding.
The groom-to-be ads: “We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together.”
The wedding’s late summer. Besides a personal shopper, friends are scouring shops and designers for Ann’s gown.
They will spend their time between California, the UK, Montana and New York.
Rupert Murdoch appeared so happy that somehow I didn’t think it was the right moment to ask him for a raise. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)