Andrew Neil, former editor of the British The Sunday Times, once wrote about the best advice he received while working for media billionaire Rupert Murdoch. “Don’t fall in love with Rupert,” he was told. “He turns on the lovers and cuts them off. »
The advice should perhaps have been given not only to Murdoch’s courtiers, but also to the women he married over the years.
Wednesday, The New York Times reported that Murdoch, 91, is in the process of divorcing his fourth wife, former model and actor, Jerry Hall, who is 65.
Murdoch and Hall met in Australia in 2015 when Hall was on tour in the stage adaptation of The graduation, playing Mrs. Robinson. Their court’s first public confirmation came the same year when Murdoch was pictured kissing Hall during the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham in October 2015.
The couple tied the knot in 2016, and on their wedding day, Murdoch, who had a brief flirtation on Twitter, tweeted, “Feel like the luckiest AND happiest man alive. »
The English poet Samuel Johnson once wrote that a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience. Perhaps a fourth marriage is best described as a triumph of imagination over intelligence.
In March this year, Murdoch, who is worth an estimated $7.62 billion ($11 billion) on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, put his New York penthouse up for sale for $78 million. In hindsight, there has been speculation as to whether Murdoch would have tried to sell this property before the divorce.
The New York penthouse, located across from Madison Square Park and one block from Fifth Avenue, would have 360-degree views of the city, including iconic buildings such as the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center and the Hudson and East Rivers.
Murdoch’s wealth comes primarily from his stakes in News Corp and Fox, companies that own newspaper, publishing and television assets around the world, as well as Disney. Disney bought Murdoch-controlled 21st Century Fox in a $71 billion stock deal in March 2019.
Murdoch’s latest divorce came as a surprise. It wasn’t until last October that Hall was seen doting on Murdoch at her belated 90th birthday party she hosted in a tent adjoining the Tavern on the Green restaurant in New York’s Central Park. . The party was attended by 130 power brokers, longtime lieutenants, friends and family, including fellow media titans Barry Diller and Peter Chernin and at least two of Murdoch’s six children, Lachlan and Elisabeth.
Murdoch’s fourth divorce quickly made headlines around the world, and for good reason. For more than half a century, Murdoch has been at the center of the state of world affairs. His media companies have reshaped governments through their influence, his Fox News channel helping elect US President Donald Trump in 2016, while his UK tabloid The sun led the fight for Britain to leave the European Union, in what became known as Brexit.
In Australia, former Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd have called for reducing Murdoch’s power and influence.
Now that Murdoch is making headlines, the paparazzi are trying to snap photos of him and Hall, and there’s feverish speculation about how much payout she’ll receive.
Will Hall bring the UK home the couple spent £11.25million on in 2019? Did she sign a prenup, like Murdoch’s former wife Wendi Deng did?
Murdoch divorced Deng after a 14-year marriage and the settlement included money and property, and also, it seems, their two children would become equal beneficiaries of the Murdoch Family Trust, but without voting rights. . The trust controls the family’s voting shares in News Corp.
Murdoch was married to Deng from 1999 to 2013. His longest marriage was to Anna Torv from 1967 to 1999, with whom he had three children. His first marriage was to Patricia Booker, from 1956 to 1967, and they had one child.
Murdoch’s fourth divorce is unlikely to change the ownership structure of his empire. And what Hall will receive in the divorce remains unknown. However, she will almost certainly receive a bigger payout than the £10million she received in 1999, after her 22-year relationship with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger ended. The couple had four children.
Murdoch isn’t the only billionaire to walk down the aisle multiple times.
Larry Ellison, the 11th richest person in the world and founder of Oracle, has been married four times. Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and CEO of Tesla, has been married three times, twice to the same woman.
Even Warren Buffett, the world’s seventh richest man, who is the same age as Murdoch and is often touted as a paragon of virtue, has had unconventional relationships. He married his first wife in 1952 and was married to her for five decades. However, for much of this time, Buffett lived with another woman, whom he would later marry after his first wife died.
Murdoch enters the last years of his life alone but with his power, influence and wealth intact. Like all billionaires, he never had to worry about the “poorer” part of his wedding vows.
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