Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch’s new romance with Russian billionaire Elena Zhukova was reportedly struck up just months after he abruptly called off his two-week engagement to TV presenter Ann Lesley Smith.
The 92-year-old, who has had numerous romances and been married four times, could be on to his fifth and final wife with retired molecular biologist Elena, the 66-year-old ex-wife of a Russian oligarch.
This romance is said to have legs as Elena has been described by those who know her as formidable, fiercely intelligent “with the eccentricities of billionaire male egos.”
These are apparently traits that the media mogul is said to admire and he has always tried to find such a combination in a companion.
It also helps that she is reportedly a billionaire, meaning that she would not rely on his wealth and is herself used to the finer things in life, which according to Vanity Fair are things that keep him keen and interested.
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The marriage-loving tycoon has seemingly met his match and could head down the aisle for the fifth and final time with elena.
The whirlwind romance with the ex-scientist, whose daughter is Dasha Zhukova, the ex-wife of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, is Rupert’s second since divorcing his fourth wife, the former model Jerry Hall, last August.
According to The Guardian, the nonagenarian has wasted no time whisking his new wealthy girlfriend away.
Rupert has reportedly taken her on a luxury holiday sailing around the Mediterranean where they’ve been holed up for the past several weeks.
The lovebirds have been reportedly spotted aboard the Christina O, the legendary yacht once owned by Aristotle Onassis.
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In a photo posted by the Mail, the pair are seen sitting near each other wearing sunhats and shades under a sign which read “Happyland”.
“He’s got the energy of people half his age,” a source told Drudge Report, “And he might just be in love again”.
The two reportedly met at a family event held by the media tycoon’s businesswoman ex-wife Wendi Deng, with whom he shares daughters Chloe and Grace.
Wendi and the controversial billionaire divorced in 2013 after 14 years of marriage but are said to be on good terms.
Elena is twice-divorced and has lived in the US for over 30 years since leaving Russia in 1991 with her daughter.
Before retiring she worked at the prestigious research unit in UCLA. It has previously been said that Rupert has never been shy about asking women who he finds intriguing out on dates and that has shown no sign of abating now he’s in the winter of his life.
A source, who’s known him for 25 years, told The Telegraph: “He hates being alone. He enjoys the romance. When he’s in between wives or partners, his team have to babysit him, spending time with him and keeping him company. So it’s in their interest for him to have a companion.”
In April he broke off his engagement to former dental hygienist turned conservative radio host Ann Lesley Smith, 66, after only two weeks.
Ann had allegedly said former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who Rupert allegedly butted heads with before he sacked him earlier this year, was a “messenger from God, and he [Rupert] said nope,” a source told Vanity Fair in April to explain why the romance ended.
The publication also claimed that just the year before he scrapped the engagement he ended his six-year marriage from 2016-2022 to Jerry Hall by email.
“Jerry, sadly I’ve decided to call an end to our marriage,” he allegedly emailed Jerry, one day. “We have certainly had some good times, but I have much to do. My New York lawyer will be contacting yours immediately.”
Vanity Fair said that a “devastated, mad, and humiliated” Jerry was then instructed to leave Rupert’s Bel Air estate within 30 days, and provide receipts of items she claimed belong to her.
Packing was said to have been under the supervision of security guards and Jerry, who was famously married to rocker Mick Jagger. But the task of ending marriage to Rupert has seemingly become as cold and easy as ending one of his many business transactions.
He’s had plenty of practice. He first wed in 1956 at age 25, when he exchanged vows with fellow Australian Patricia Brooker, a former flight attendant. They had a daughter, Prudence, who is only one year younger than Elena at the age of 65. Patricia reportedly died in 2000.
The marriage lasted 11 years and what followed were three more wives. His second was Anna dePeyster, his longest marriage at 32 years.
They married in 1967 and divorced 1999. A former journalist at Rupert’s Daily Mirror newspaper in Sydney, they met when she interviewed him for a profile. They went on to have three children: Elisabeth, Lachlan, and James.
Anna was said to have received a £400 million payout after their 1999 divorce.
The third Mrs Murdoch, Wendi, married the businessman in 1999 and they divorced 2013. “Why is your business strategy in China so bad?” the then-30-year-old TV executive asked him at a Hong Kong Q&A. They tied the knot shortly afterwards.
Express.co.uk reached out to Rupert’s representatives, who declined to comment.
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