Rupert Murdoch’s Marriage Story in the Spotlight
Apparently, Rupert, who had lost around $3.5 million for an 11-carat Asscher-cut diamond solitaire engagement ring, couldn’t take much more of her preaching.
Not even Murdoch’s own New York Post could have dreamed up a better tabloid zinger that offers a convenient distraction from the far more uncomfortable news of the looming Dominion defamation case in which he currently stars.
In fact, Rupert Murdoch’s many wives have become one of the most intriguing aspects of the businessman’s acclaimed life.
Just as Elizabeth Taylor endured taunts and scrutiny for her eight marriages, Murdoch’s marriage story has once again come into the public spotlight.
There have been countless opinion articles and analysis by relationship experts as to why he would want to stop in the first place.
No doubt the four previous Mrs. Murdochs would also be wondering, curious as to what it would take to become the last Mrs. Murdoch now that the billionaire is officially back on the market.
Mrs Murdoch No.1 was the glamorous Patricia Booker, flight attendant and department store model from Melbourne. They married in 1956 when Rupert was just 25 years old. They had one child, daughter Prudence, now 65.
They divorced in 1967. Two years later, at age 9, Prudence persuaded her father to seek custody after her mother remarried Freddie Maeder, described by Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff as a “Swiss jet-setter with bad news”. Booker died in 1998, and by all accounts she was far too outgoing for the reserved Murdoch.
Mrs. Murdoch #2 was the former daily mirror Reporter Anna Torv. For decades, she seemed to be Murdoch’s genetically gifted perfect character.
Their 32-year marriage produced three children: Elisabeth, Lachlan and James, but it came to a spectacular end in 1998 when an army of lawyers went into battle for the loot of the Murdoch fortune. Anna would not go without a fight.
“Maybe I was in love with the idea of still being in love with him. But the Rupert I fell in love with couldn’t have acted like that.”
Rupert Murdoch’s second wife Anna Torv
In a 2001 interview with The Australian Women’s WeekBreaking her silence on the end of the marriage, Anna said: “I began to believe that the Rupert Murdoch I loved died a long time ago. Maybe I was in love with the idea of still being in love with him. But the Rupert I fell in love with couldn’t have acted like that.”
She described his actions during their separation as “extremely tough, ruthless and determined”, hardly the cuddly romantic was so infatuated with the Chinese beauty Wendi Deng.
Enter the stage to the right of Mrs. Murdoch #3. Murdoch was 67 when he met 29-year-old Deng at a company party in Hong Kong. They married two years later, 17 days after the ink dried on his divorce from Anna.
They were married 14 years and have two children, Grace, 22, and Chloe, 20.
During the marriage, Wendi was credited with encouraging Rupert to dye his hair a suspicious shade of mahogany and dress him more youthfully. She hired personal trainers and is said to have once revealed that her husband didn’t “need” Viagra.
Rupert filed for divorce in June 2013, stating the marriage was “broken apart beyond recovery”. This followed rumors of Wendi’s close relationship with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
In 2016, a week before his 85th birthday, Murdoch married former supermodel Jerry Hall at St. Bride’s Church in London.
The entire Murdoch family was there to witness the minting of Mrs. Murdoch #4. He declared he was “the happiest AND happiest man alive.”
He even put up with smoking for his wife, who has been spotted at big parties by her side as she joins the nicotine outcasts for a smart hit.
But it was all over six years later, and Murdoch reportedly ended it via email.
Last month, Smith, a thrice-married, twice-divorced widow, explained that she and her then-still-smitten boyfriend shared the same beliefs and, perhaps most tellingly, “spoke the same language.”
However, given the abrupt end of their engagement, something seems to have been lost in translation.
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