Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, 92, gets engaged

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - US Open

By Dawn Chmielewski

(Reuters) -Rupert Murdoch, 92, got engaged to his girlfriend, Elena Zhukova, a spokesman said on Thursday, which would mark his fifth trip down the aisle.

The wedding will be held in California, at Murdoch's vineyard and estate, Moraga, a spokesman said.

The impending nuptials come just months after Murdoch stepped down as chairman of Fox and News Corp, ending a more than seven-decade career at the helm of a sprawling media empire.

The New York Times, which first reported the news, said Zhukova, who is from Moscow, is 67. She is a retired molecular biologist whom Murdoch began dating in the summer, it added.

They met through Murdoch's third wife, Wendi Deng, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Murdoch's most recent marriage to actress and model Jerry Hall ended in divorce in 2022 after six years. Hall previously was a longtime partner of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger.

The media mogul was briefly engaged last year to former San Francisco police chaplain Ann Lesley Smith, though the pair called off the engagement weeks later. Vanity Fair reported the breakup, citing one source who said Murdoch had grown uncomfortable with Smith's outspoken evangelical views.

Moraga, where Murdoch is due to get married, is the same place where Murdoch and Walt Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger first discussed Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox, a $71 billion deal that closed in 2019.

(Reporting by Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru and Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles.Editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler)