Rupert Murdoch and Ann Lesley Smith ‘call off their engagement’ after less than a month | Ents & Arts News

Rupert Murdoch and former San Francisco police chaplain Ann Lesley Smith have reportedly called off their engagement.

The 92-year-old media tycoon and Ms Smith, who is 26 years his junior, had planned to tie the knot in the summer – in what would have been his fifth marriage.

But Vanity Fair reported the couple have broken up, citing one source close to Murdoch as saying he had become uncomfortable with Ms Smith’s outspoken evangelical views.

Fox Corp chairman Murdoch met 66-year-old Ms Smith last September at his vineyard Moraga in Bel Air, California, and he called her two weeks later, he told News Corp-owned New York Post, which broke the news of the engagement.

Murdoch had divorced his fourth wife Jerry Hall last August.

Ms Smith was previously married to American musician and radio and television broadcaster Chester Smith until his death in 2008.

Murdoch proposed during St Patrick’s Day festivities in New York on 17 March with an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire engagement ring that he “personally selected”.

“I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy,” Murdoch told the Post at the time.

He previously joked that “it better be” his last engagement after his six-year marriage to Hall ended in divorce.

The wedding was set for late summer and the couple were planning to split their time between California, the UK, Montana and New York.

Mr Murdoch’s third wife was entrepreneur Wendi Deng, mother to two of his children, but they split in 2013.

He was married to his second wife Anna Murdoch Mann, a Scottish journalist with whom he shares three children, from 1967 until 1999.

Mr Murdoch and his first wife, Patricia Booker, a former flight attendant with whom he had a daughter, divorced in 1966.

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