When Rupert Murdoch was married to Wendi Deng, they lived in New York and it was said, at the time, that Wendi tried to domesticate him and make him more of a cultural elite. That marriage – his third – crashed and burned amid stinging accusations of elder abuse and torrid affairs with Tony Blair. Then in 2016, Murdoch fell in love with someone new: Jerry Hall. They had a seven-week engagement, then a tasteful civil wedding in March 2016, followed by a tasteful church wedding a day later. Murdoch became more London-based (Jerry already lived in London full-time) and much more low-key. While Jerry and Rupert did go out to premieres and big A-list events, it definitely felt like he was in his “rich aristocracy” phase. Now that’s over. Reportedly, Murdoch and Hall are headed for divorce.
Rupert Murdoch, the media titan, and Jerry Hall, the model and actress, are getting divorced, according to two people with knowledge of the decision. The people would speak only anonymously to discuss a personal matter. Bryce Tom, a spokesman for Mr. Murdoch, declined to comment. Representatives for Ms. Hall could not immediately be reached for comment.
Mr. Murdoch’s divorce, his fourth, is unlikely to alter the ownership structure of businesses he holds stakes in, which include parent companies of Fox News and The Wall Street Journal. The Murdoch family’s shares in the companies Mr. Murdoch founded reside in a strictly managed trust. Mr. Murdoch splits voting rights over that trust with his four oldest children — Lachlan, Elisabeth, James and Prudence — and has arranged them so that he can never be outvoted.
Still, the split could reverberate throughout his business empire, which maintains powerful sway in America and abroad through its right-leaning news brands including the Fox News Channel in the United States, The Sun in Britain and Sky News in Australia.
I’m pretty sure that Rupert Murdoch – and Lachlan, the heir-apparent of the empire – learned a lot from the Wendi Deng situation. Deng fought hard to ensure that her two daughters (Grace and Chloe) would have their fair share of the empire and the trust when they came of age. The divorce from Hall will go a lot smoother simply because they didn’t have children together – Hall’s kids are all adults and they’re all Jaggers. I’m pretty sure I heard that Jerry signed a strict-but-beneficial prenup too. That’s probably why no one from MurdochWorld is confirming anything yet – they’re working on a quiet settlement with no drama. While Hall isn’t poor, she needs a nice-sized settlement from Murdoch. I hope she gets it.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.