Rupert Murdoch, 92, told Jerry Hall he was divorcing her ‘in an email’: ‘I have much to do’

Jerry Hall was the media mogul’s fourth wife, who he left months before meeting Ann Lesley Smith

Liam James
Thursday 13 April 2023 13:51 BST
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Rupert Murdoch told his wife their marriage was over in an abrupt email announcing the news in an 11 word email, according to reports.

The 92-year-old media tycoon reached a divorce settlement with Jerry Hall, his fourth wife, last August after six years together.

Ms Hall, a 66-year-old model and mother to four children with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, is said to have told friends she was “heartbroken” and “devastated” by the split.

Murdoch and Hall at their wedding in March 2016 (PA)

The pair’s divorce settlement simply cited “irreconcilable differences” and a joint statement said they remained “good friends”.

In a new report on relationships and power struggles in the Murdoch family, Vanity Fair revealed details of the couple’s final days, including Ms Hall’s bafflement at the abrupt end to her marriage to the head of the clan.

Sometime in June last year, Ms Hall was waiting for Mr Murdoch to arrive at their Oxfordshire estate when she checked her phone, the report read.

An email from Mr Murdoch, seen in screenshot by the magazine, said: “Jerry, sadly I’ve decided to call an end to our marriage. We have certainly had some good times, but I have much to do … My New York lawyer will be contacting yours immediately.”

Ms Hall reportedly told people: “Rupert and I never fought,” outside of small disagreements over political matters. She was also cited as telling friends that she was required to move out of the couple’s Bel Air estate within 30 days and show receipts to prove that what she was taking belonged to her.

The Texan was part of Mr Murdoch’s shortest marriage to date after Patricia Booker (1956-1967), Wendi Murdoch (1999-2013) and Anna Murdoch Mann (1967-1999), and was his first wife with whom he did not have a child.

Murdoch in 2018 and bride-to-be Smith in 2020 (Getty/Ann Lesley Live/Facebook)

Months after the divorce with Ms Hall was settled, Mr Murdoch was seen on holiday in Barbados with Ann Lesley Smith, who he proposed to on 17 March in New York City.

The couple reportedly met late last year before making their relationship official last Christmas, when Ms Smith attended a dinner at Mr Murdoch’s home in Mayfair.

Ms Smith, a former radio host who is 25 years Mr Murdoch’s junior, was previously married to country-western musician Chester Smith, who died in 2008 at the age of 78. The pair recorded an album together in 2005, titled Captured by Love.

Mr Murdoch said he and Ms Smith were “looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together”. The wedding was supposed to take place in late summer but it has since been reported that their engagement has been called off.

Details of the email to Ms Hall comes as one of Murdoch’s major news outlets, Fox News, faces a $1.6bn (£1.3bn) lawsuit in the US on defamation claims.

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