Wedding bells may not be ringing for Rupert Murdoch anytime soon. According to sources close to Murdoch, the 92-year-old Fox Corporation chairman and Ann Lesley Smith, a 66-year-old former dental hygienist turned conservative radio host, have abruptly called off their engagement.
Murdoch and Smith reportedly planned to marry this summer, less than a year after Murdoch finalized his divorce from his fourth wife, model-actor Jerry Hall. One source close to Murdoch said he had become increasingly uncomfortable with Smith’s outspoken evangelical views.
The breakup ends a whirlwind romance that generated headlines around the world. In January, Murdoch and Smith were first photographed vacationing in Barbados. The photos captured Smith helping a shirtless Murdoch out of the ocean.
In February, Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal reported that Murdoch was set to buy a $30 million, 6,500-square-foot co-op on Central Park South, which could have been his and Smith’s New York residence. In March, Murdoch announced his engagement in the pages of his New York Post. “I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love—but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy,” he told gossip columnist Cindy Adams.
Last week the Daily Mail reported that Murdoch had given Smith an 11-carat diamond engagement ring said to be worth upwards of $2.5 million.
But less favorable headlines surfaced after the media began investigating Smith’s patchy biography. Little is known about her childhood. In her 20s, Smith married John B. Huntington, a descendant of a wealthy California railroad family. “I spent $65,000 a month on clothes easily. Money was not an object. I had everything in the world,” she told the Christian Broadcasting Network.
They divorced, she said in the CBN interview, when Huntington became an abusive alcoholic. She was suicidal, then found Jesus in a coffee shop and became a street preacher in Marin County, California. “When you let the Lord take control of your life, you can make it. Out of the ruins you can rise and let the oil of his anointing just be all over you,” she told CBN.
She later married the country music singer and broadcast entrepreneur Chester Smith. But when Smith died in 2008, Ann Lesley became embroiled in a nasty court battle with her stepdaughters over Smith’s multimillion-dollar fortune. At one point, in court documents, a stepdaughter accused Ann Lesley of “financial elder abuse.” The litigation was settled in 2010, and Ann Lesley admitted no wrongdoing.
Murdoch’s adult children from his second marriage to Anna—Elisabeth, Lachlan, and James—were reportedly relieved that Ann Lesley had no children of her own, which could have complicated the already-complicated succession battle over the future of the Murdoch empire. Murdoch’s third marriage to Wendi Deng in 1999—less than a month after his divorce from Anna—ignited a revolt from his adult children, who opposed allowing Murdoch and Deng’s daughters, Chloe and Grace, to receive voting shares on the family trust that controls the media empire.
So the woman who wasted money in clothes, been married twice before and the guy who owns networks that peddles lies to promote an extreme right wing , racist and xenophobic views are at odds over “Christian Principles”?
Really? Is this a sad joke?
I am an agnostic and I follow more “Christian principles” than any of these Faux Christians.
Hypocrisy is strong with these people……If there is a hell, they already have reserved rooms for most of them.