Media Darlings Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall to Divorce

The whirlwind romance between the billionaire right-wing News Corp media master and the former model/rock goddess has somehow run its course
95

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, perhaps the last of the great romantics, is getting divorced from his fourth wife, model Jerry Hall, after six years of marriage, sources familiar with the situation tell the New York Times.

News Corp’s founding tyrant, 91, and Mick Jagger’s ex, 65, wed in 2016 after a yearlong courtship.

Hall and the Rolling Stones frontman were married in Bali in 1990, but that union was declared null and void in 1999 when it was found that the pair’s Hindu ceremony had never been legally binding. The two said the split was amicably settled—for a reported £10m.

Murdoch was last previously married to Wendi Deng, from 1999-2013. Deng, a Chinese-born American entrepreneur, among other jobs, had worked at News Corp Hong Kong subsidiary Star TV, where she met Murdoch, 30 years her senior, at a company shindig. The couple dated for two years before getting hitched—17 days after Murdoch’s divorce from his previous wife, Anna Mann, was finalized.

Anna Maria Mann is a Scottish journalist and author who met Murdoch while working for his Sydney paper, the Daily Mirror, and wed him in 1967. While she praised him publicly during the good times, upon the eve of their divorce she told the Australian Women’s Weekly, via the Guardian: “I began to think the Rupert Murdoch that I loved died a long time ago. Perhaps I was in love with the idea of still being in love with him. But the Rupert I fell in love with could not have behaved this way.”

Murdoch’s first wife, Melbourne department store model and flight attendant Patricia Booker, was the bride of Rupert from 1956 to 1967.

Murdoch has sired six so far. There are his daughters with Deng, Grace, 21, and Chloe, 19, and his daughter with Booker, 64-year-old Prudence. And of course there is the cream of Murdoch’s crops, Mann’s kids: 53-year-old Elisabeth, a media executive, as well as former scion James, 49, who left the family business after a life of service “due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions,” and for backing Joe Biden—much like a certain Corleone brother backed Moe Green at the Tropicana—and Lachlan, the 50-year-old Fox Corporation CEO and the empire’s heir apparent.

As of today, the the elder Murdoch is worth an estimated $17.6 billion, according to Forbes, and his divorce is unlikely to modify the “ownership structure of businesses he holds stakes in,” the Times reports.

Which works out just swell—as a Delaware judge ruled on Tuesday that Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News will not be separated from parent company Fox Corporation because, in part, “Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch allegedly made a ‘business calculation’ to spread former President Trump’s narrative through Fox News even though they did not personally believe it.”


Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.