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Rupert Murdoch is engaged to marry – again

CNN  —  Within a year of calling off his last wedding, nonagenarian billionaire Rupert Murdoch has popped the question to another partner, months after they started dating. The former News Corp chairman’s media representative confirmed the news to CNN on Friday, just days before the billionaire’s 93rd birthday next Monday. It’s the second time Murdoch has been engaged in a year. Last March, the media titan announced plans to marry Ann Lesley Smith, a former dental hygienist and conservative radio host. But the wedding was called off weeks later. This time, Murdoch will wed Elena Zhukova, a 67-year-old retired molecular biologist, according to The New York Times, which first reported the impending nuptials. Murdoch and Zhukova reportedly started dating in the summer and plan to marry at Moraga Bel Air, Murdoch’s luxury vineyard and estate in California. Images of the couple together have been published in recent months on news sites. Zhukova is the mother of Russian American art collector Dasha Zhukova, the former wife of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Murdoch was recently listed as #280 on Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, with a net worth of $9 billion. He stepped down as chairman of News Corporation, the print publishing arm of his media empire, last November, handing control of the business to his eldest son, Lachlan. Rupert Murdoch at his annual party at Spencer House, St James' Place in London on Thursday June 22, 2023. Victoria Jones/Press Association/AP Related article Rupert Murdoch pulls Fox News-style channel off the air in UK after failing to build an audience At the time, Murdoch said he would continue an “active role” in the company, adopting the title of chairman emeritus of Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox News and other broadcasting assets. Murdoch was previously married to former flight attendant Patricia Booker, journalist Anna Murdoch and entrepreneur Wendi Deng, who reportedly introduced him to Zhukova. He married his fourth wife, former model Jerry Hall, in 2016. Their divorce was finalized in August 2022. It’s unclear why Murdoch’s last engagement was called off. At the time, he said of the proposal to Smith: “I was very nervous … “I dreaded falling in love – but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.” Murdoch’s office did not reply to a request for further information on the timing and location of his upcoming wedding.