Media mogul Rupert Murdoch engaged to Ann Lesley Smith
By Helen Coster
March 20 (Reuters) - Fox Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch is engaged to former San Francisco police chaplain Ann Lesley Smith, his spokesperson confirmed on Monday, which will mark the fifth marriage for the 92-year-old media mogul.
Murdoch finalized his divorce from actress and model Jerry Hall in August.
Murdoch and Smith, 66, first met in September at his vineyard Moraga in Bel Air, California, and he called her two weeks later, Murdoch told the News Corp-owned NY Post, which broke the news of the engagement. Smith is a widow whose late husband was Chester Smith, a country singer, radio and TV executive.
On March 17 in New York, Murdoch presented Smith with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire ring, according to the Post. They will be married in late summer.
“I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy,” Murdoch told the Post
Murdoch's nuptials are unlikely to change the ownership structure of businesses in which he holds stakes, including Fox Corp, the parent company of Fox News Channel, and News Corp. Murdoch controls News Corp and Fox Corp through a Reno, Nevada-based family trust that holds roughly a 40% stake in voting shares of each company.
Fox is currently defending itself in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems.
Dominion has accused the cable TV network of amplifying debunked claims that Dominion voting machines were used to rig the election against Republican Donald Trump and in favor of his rival Joe Biden, who won the election.
Fox has defended its coverage, arguing claims by Trump and his lawyers were inherently newsworthy and protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. (Reporting by Helen Coster Editing by Bill Berkrot)