Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Ann Leslie Smith have reportedly called off their engagement just weeks after the announcement. Mr. Murdoch seems uneasy about Mr. Smith’s outspoken evangelical views.
The news of Mr. Murdoch’s engagement to Ms. Smith, who is 66 years old and is 92 years old, only came out last month. Mr. Murdoch proposed to her on St. Patrick’s Day, and the two met in September 2022 at an event at his California vineyard.
This information comes just one year after the media extensively reported Mr. Murdoch’s breakup with his fourth wife, Jerry Hall. The money manager had recently been hitched multiple times prior to sealing the deal with Lobby in 2016.
Given their stark differences in age and upbringing, many people had been surprised by Mr. Murdoch and Ms. Smith’s connection. Ms. Smith is a former police chaplain and a member of the Church of England, whereas Mr. Murdoch is a media billionaire who was born in Australia and has long been a contentious figure in the world of media.
Mr. Murdoch’s reaction to this latest development and whether or not he will make any public statements about it remain to be seen. However, given that the media mogul has previously stated that he dreaded falling in love but knew that his current engagement would be his last, it appears that this will not be the last time we hear about his romantic endeavors.
While Vanity Fair reports that Mr Murdoch was uncomfortable with Ms Smith’s outspoken evangelical views, there is more to her story than meets the eye.
Ms Smith’s late husband was none other than Chester Smith, a country singer and radio TV exec. The couple were married for over 40 years before he passed away in 2008. Ms Smith herself has a background in law enforcement, having served as a police chaplain for over 20 years. Furthermore, she is a member of the Church of England and has been outspoken about her faith.
When news of her engagement to Mr Murdoch broke last month, Ms Smith spoke to the New York Post about their relationship. “For us both it’s a gift from God. We met last September,” she said. “I’m a widow of 14 years. Like Rupert, my husband was a businessman… so I speak Rupert’s language. We share the same beliefs.”
Ms Smith’s faith has been a central part of her life, and she has often talked about the role it played in helping her cope with her husband’s death. In an interview with the BBC in 2018, she said, “I think faith is absolutely vital… it helps you to get through difficult times.”
It is unclear how much of a role Ms Smith’s faith played in the breakup of her engagement to Mr Murdoch, but it is clear that the couple had differing views on certain issues.
Despite this, it is necessary to remember that Ms Smith is more than just a former fiancee of a media tycoon. She has a rich and varied life story that includes a successful career as a police chaplain and a deep commitment to her faith.
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The 92-year-old founder of News Corp, who has been married four times previously, told the New York Post that he proposed to Smith on St Patrick’s Day, saying that he was “happy” and “looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together.”
The news of the engagement came as a surprise to many, given the significant age difference between the two and their vastly different backgrounds. Smith, 66, is a former police chaplain and a member of the Church of England, while Murdoch is an Australian-born media tycoon who has been a controversial figure in the media landscape for decades.
The couple reportedly met in September 2022 at an event at Murdoch’s vineyard in California. Smith’s late husband was Chester Smith and the two had been married for over 40 years before he passed away in 2008. Smith herself has a background in law enforcement, having served as a police chaplain for over 20 years.
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Sudden Change of Heart
Despite the surprise of their engagement, it seems that the couple is well-suited for each other. In her interview with the New York Post, Smith said, “I’m a widow of 14 years. Like Rupert, my husband was a businessman… so I speak Rupert’s language. We share the same beliefs.” Murdoch also spoke of their shared values, saying that they were both “looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together.”
The couple reportedly planned to split their time between California, Montana, New York, and the UK. Their wedding was expected to take place in late summer, but with the recent news that they have called off the engagement, it seems that those plans have been put on hold.
According to Vanity Fair, the reason behind the sudden change of heart seems to be Murdoch’s discomfort with Smith’s outspoken evangelical views. It remains to be seen how either party will react to this latest development, but it is clear that the engagement of Rupert Murdoch and Ann Lesley Smith has been a surprising and unexpected story in the media landscape.