Conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch has wasted no time in his hunt for wife number five, and he's found her in onetime Bay Area resident Ann-Lesley Smith, who has twice been married herself to multi-millionaire husbands.
Murdoch gave the scoop to his own New York Post's longtime gossip maven Cindy Adams — who, like Murdoch, is 92 years old. As Adams reported on Page Six, Murdoch met Smith at an event last September at his Moraga Bel Air vineyard and winery, and the two bonded over their interest in winemaking.
"She and her husband also owned a vineyard and had been in the wine business," Murdoch reportedly told Adams. "Last year when there was 200 people at my vineyard, I met her and we talked a bit. Two weeks later I called her."
So, he's had her teed up, then, since before his divorce from Jerry Hall, which was finalized in October. And, at age 92, perhaps a six-month courtship should be seen as lengthy.
Murdoch added, "I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy." And, hilariously, he told Adams, "We're both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together."
As The Cut points out, comments like that sure make him sound like the character he's said to have inspired, Succession's Logan Roy, who is similarly deluded about his longevity/immortality.
Smith, 66, was previously married to country music and gospel singer turned media mogul Chester Smith, who died in 2008. Chester Smith told the Chronicle in 2002 how he was inspired to get back to his roots in music after suffering what sounds like an anxiety attack following the sale of his radio and TV stations to Univision in 1996, in an $85 million deal. After that, it sounds like the Smiths retired to Modesto where they ran some sort of vineyard.
In any event, Smith clearly has her own money, so maybe won't mind signging a prenup this time. She previously was left destitute when her first marriage to a millionaire, John B. Huntington — of the San Francisco Huntingtons — ended in divorce in the late 1980s, as she told the Christian Broadcasting Network. (There's some evidence of an extended court fight here, in court documents from 1992.) She later seems to have found God and become a volunteer prison chaplain in Marin County, before marrying rich again.
As Smith tells Adams, "I’m a widow 14 years. Like Rupert, my husband was a businessman. Worked for local papers, developed radio and TV stations and helped promote Univision. So I speak Rupert’s language. We share the same beliefs."
Smith adds, "In perspective, it’s not my first rodeo. Getting near 70 means being in the last half. I waited for the right time. Friends are happy for me."
At least she acknowledges she's "in the last half" of her life, whereas Rupert may imagine he's just starting his.
Top image: Rupert Murdoch attends 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)