Rupert Murdoch Marries for the Fifth Time


Rupert Murdoch, who retired from the boards of Fox and News Corporation last year, walked down an outdoor aisle under blue skies to exchange vows on Saturday with Elena Zhukova, his fifth bride, at Moraga, his Tuscan-style vineyard estate in the hills of the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Ms. Zhukova, 67, carried a bouquet of white flowers and wore an ankle-length, off-the-shoulder white dress with a square neckline, reportedly designed by the London-based designer Emilia Wickstead; Mr. Murdoch, 93, wore a dark suit with sneakers. Notable guests caught by paparazzi on the way into the ceremony included Robert K. Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, and Robert Thomson, the chief executive of News Corp.

The couple met through Mr. Murdoch’s third wife, Wendi Deng, according to The Daily Mail, which first reported their relationship last summer. Ms. Zhukova is a retired molecular biologist who immigrated to the United States from Moscow in 1991, just months before the Soviet Union collapsed. She was previously married to Alexander Zhukov, the billionaire energy investor.

There have been few public details about the couple’s courtship, with representatives for Mr. Murdoch staying mum, but The Daily Mail reported that shortly after meeting, Mr. Murdoch and Ms. Zhukova spent weeks vacationing together in the Mediterranean aboard the Christina O, a yacht that once belonged to Aristotle Onassis. Their engagement was announced in March.

Mr. Murdoch’s fifth marriage comes after a called-off engagement to Ann Lesley Smith, who is a retired dental hygienist and a conservative radio host. Last spring, he proposed to Ms. Smith but broke off the engagement after less than a month.

Ms. Zhukova’s marital history is less well documented. She met her first husband, Mr. Zhukov, now a British citizen, when both were students in the Soviet Union. Their marriage, during which they had a daughter, the entrepreneur and socialite Dasha Zhukova, lasted three years, according to The New Yorker.

A first walk down the aisle for Mr. Murdoch came in 1956, when he married Patricia Booker, a former flight attendant and model. They had a daughter, Prudence, before divorcing in 1967.

That same year, he married his second wife, Anna Maria Torv, then a journalist at one of his Australian newspapers. That union lasted 32 years, and they had three children: Elisabeth, Lachlan and James. All have worked for their father’s global empire; last year, Lachlan Murdoch was named Mr. Murdoch’s sole successor, becoming responsible for steering the media company his father started building from a small local newspaper in his native Australia 70 years ago. Mr. Murdoch maintains an emeritus role.

In 1999, when Mr. Murdoch and Ms. Torv divorced, he and his third wife, Ms. Deng, a television executive born in China, married. They had two daughters, Grace and Chloe, and divorced in 2013. He met Jerry Hall, who is a model, actress and one of Mick Jagger’s former wives, the same year. They married in 2016 and had no children together before divorcing in 2022.

Mr. Murdoch and his family have a net worth of nearly $20 billion, according to Forbes. His publicly traded company, News Corp, owns a portfolio of news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and Sky News Australia, and the book publisher HarperCollins. According to The Cut, Ms. Deng and Ms. Hall both signed prenuptial agreements before marrying Mr. Murdoch.

Moraga, the wedding venue, is where Mr. Murdoch first hatched his 2019 deal to sell most of Fox’s movie studio, FX and National Geographic to Disney. He bought the estate in 2013 for a reported $29.5 million. Among its former owners is the director Victor Fleming, whose credits include “The Wizard of Oz” andGone With the Wind.”

When he retired in September, Mr. Murdoch told employees in a letter that for his entire professional life he had been engaged daily with news and ideas. “That will not change,” he wrote. “But the time is right for me to take on different roles.”



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