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Rupert Murdoch, 93, with his new wife Elena Zhukova, 67, a retired Russian biologist, who he married during a ceremony at his Californian vineyard. © News Corp

Rupert Murdoch, 93, marries fifth wife Elena Zhukova, 67, in intimate ceremony

The media mogul was previously married to model Jerry Hall

Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
June 2, 2024
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Congratulations are in order for Rupert Murdoch, who has got married for the fifth time, tying the knot with Elena Zhukova at his vineyard in California

The retired media impresario, 93, and molecular biologist Elena, 67, married on Saturday, confirming the news the following afternoon. 

The ceremony comes just over a year after Rupert called off his engagement to former police chaplain Ann Lesley Smith, which was announced last April. 

He has previously been married to Mick Jagger's ex, Jerry Hall, as well as Wendi Deng, journalist Anna Torv and former flight attendant Patricia Booker, and has six children. He and Jerry ended their marriage in 2022. 

Rupert appears to be on good terms with at least some of his exes, with one of them reportedly playing a pivotal role in his new relationship.

Rupert Murdoch, 93, with his new wife Elena Zhukova, 67, a retired Russian biologist© News Corp
The couple tied the knot on Saturday

Who is Rupert Murdoch's new wife?

Elena is a retired molecular biologist. The New York Times first reported the couple's engagement news in March, reporting that they had been introduced by Murdoch's third wife, Wendi Deng. 

Rupert Murdoch, 93, with his new wife Elena Zhukova, 67© News Corp
Rupert and Elena married at the mogul's Bel Air vineyard

While Elena tends to keep out of the spotlight, she was pictured at a private dinner to celebrate Miami Art Basel in December 2010. The event was hosted by Wendi, suggesting they have indeed been long-time acquaintances. 

Rupert Murdoch and ex-wife Wendi with daughters Grace and Chloe in 2019© Getty
Rupert and ex-wife Wendi with daughters Grace and Chloe in 2019

Elena's daughter is none other than Dasha Zhukova, who was married to billionaire Roman Abramovich. The pair, who wed in 2008 and had two children together, split in 2017 and Dasha was given $92 million worth of property in the divorce, according to Tatler

Dasha went on to wed Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos III, a man of equally staggering wealth and influence. Their no-expenses-spared January 2020 wedding in St Moritz was attended by Princess Beatrice as well as Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom. 

Princess Beatrice in black split blazer dress© Getty
Princess Beatrice attended Dasha's second wedding

Who is Rupert Murdoch's ex-fiancée Ann Lesley Smith?

Ann has worked in modelling, radio, and as a Christian minister for the Manteca Police Department and the Marin County Sheriff's Office, both in California. 

She was previously married to late country music star Chester Smith. "Like Rupert, my husband was a businessman. Worked for local papers, developed radio and TV stations and helped promote (Spanish-language TV network) Univision," she told The New York Post

"So I speak Rupert's language. We share the same beliefs." Ann met Rupert at his vineyard Moraga in Bel Air in September 2022. 

Rupert Murdoch smiling © Getty
The Fox News founder has been married five times

"She and her husband also owned a vineyard and had been in the wine business. Last year when there was 200 people at my vineyard, I met her and we talked a bit. Two weeks later I called her," he explained. 

Following a whirlwind relationship, Rupert popped the question on St Patrick's Day 2023 but according to Vanity Fair, he later became "uncomfortable" with his fiancée's evangelical views. 

Rupert with his sons Lachlan and James © Getty
Rupert with sons Lachlan and James at his fourth wedding

Jerry and Rupert's relationship

The former couple were first spotted in public attending the Rugby World Cup in 2015, before getting married in London in 2016, when Rupert stated that he was "the luckiest AND happiest man in the world."

Jerry Hall Arriving For The Launch Of Strictly Come Dancing 2012© BBC
Jerry and Rupert split in 2022

In 2022, though, their representatives confirmed in a joint statement: "Jerry and Rupert Murdoch have finalised their divorce. They remain good friends and wish each other the best for the future."

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