Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall are to divorce after six years together, it was reported last night.
Friends of the 91-year-old media tycoon and 65-year-old model were ‘surprised’ by the sudden split, The New York Times said.
The union represented a fourth marriage for Mr Murdoch, who is worth an estimated £14billion. It was technically a first marriage for Miss Hall, following a 22-year relationship – and four children – with Mick Jagger. She tied the knot with the Rolling Stones frontman on a beach in Bali in 1990, but this was annulled following their split in 1999.
It is not known whether Mr Murdoch and Miss Hall had signed a pre-nuptial agreement. However, Mr Murdoch did have one with his third wife, Wendi Deng.
Revellers at Mr Murdoch’s summer party earlier this week had noted Miss Hall’s absence. One of those present at the Serpentine Gallery in London on Monday evening said: ‘I did think it was odd that she wasn’t there. She’s a social butterfly and would generally be at these sort of functions. I also noticed that none of her side of the family was there, nor her friends.’
Mr Murdoch and Miss Hall were last seen together in public in London in August 2021, when they were pictured arriving separately for a dinner. They are understood to have left together in a shared car.
The New York Times cited two sources for its story of the split. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.
Friends told the newspaper that during the early days of his marriage to Miss Hall, Mr Murdoch was ‘happily devoting more time to his new wife’, leaving son Lachlan – his chosen successor at the helm of his media empire – and his other children to ‘assert themselves at the top of the corporate hierarchy’.
Mr Murdoch’s businesses include Sky TV and the Sun and Times newspapers. He also owns US television network Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, along with several ventures in his native Australia.
Mr Murdoch met Miss Hall after his split from Miss Deng, 53, whom he divorced in 2014 after 14 years of marriage. An entrepreneur and investor, Miss Deng hit headlines in 2011 when she slapped a man who had thrown a custard pie at her husband at a parliamentary committee during the phone-hacking scandal
When the couple split, there was speculation – denied by Miss Deng – that she had grown close to Tony Blair, the godfather of her and Mr Murdoch’s daughter Grace.
Mr Murdoch met Miss Hall in Australia in 2015. After weeks of speculation, the couple went public at the rugby world cup final at Twickenham in London that October. Mr Murdoch was photographed kissing Miss Hall on the cheek while she smiled broadly.
They made their first red carpet appearance together at the Golden Globes in 2016. Friends said at the time: ‘Rupert couldn’t be happier. He’s not acting like some dotty old man who’s in love with a teenager. He just seems really, really happy. It’s a wonderful thing’.
Miss Hall moved out of the £13million home in Richmond, south-west London, where she had lived since her split with Sir Mick after discovering he had fathered a child with Brazilian model Luciana Gimenez. Announcing his engagement on Twitter, Mr Murdoch called himself ‘the luckiest and happiest man in the world’. He presented Miss Hall with a 20-carat ring believed to be worth over £2.4million.
Their official wedding was a small affair, a week before Mr Murdoch’s 85th birthday, attended by a handful of close friends. Days later, they held a public ceremony at St Bride’s church in London’s Fleet Street with guests including Bob Geldof, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tom Stoppard, Tracey Emin and Michael Caine. Miss Hall wore an ice-blue silk Vivienne Westwood gown, believed to have cost about £8,000.
Friends said Miss Hall brought more ‘balance’ to her husband’s life after decades of focus on his businesses. Among the few signs of tension was when Miss Hall pulled out a West End revival of The Graduate. Mr Murdoch reportedly banned her from reprising the role of Mrs Robinson, which she had previously played in London and involves on-stage nudity.
Last year, Miss Hall attended Mr Murdoch’s 90th birthday party at Tavern on the Green, an upmarket restaurant in New York. She reportedly ‘doted’ on him during the festivities, which were attended by luminaries from business, sports and politics, a source said.
Mr Murdoch’s first wife was Patricia Booker, an Australian model. They divorced in 1965.
He was married to his second, Anna, a former newspaper reporter, for more than three decades until they split in 1999. Their divorce remains the second most expensive in history at a reported cost to Mr Murdoch of £1.5billion. Before dating Sir Mick, Miss Hall was in a relationship with singer Bryan Ferry and was the cover star of his 1975 album Siren.