An 11-word email asking for divorce: Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall’s breakup

The 92-year-old media mogul ended his six-year marriage with a short message to the former model

Rupert Murdoch Jerry Hall
Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall attend the 'Vanity Fair' afterparty after the 91st edition of the Oscars, on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills.Danny Moloshok (REUTERS)

It would be a perfect movie script if it were not true. The media mogul Rupert Murdoch recently decided to end his fourth marriage with an eleven-word email. “Jerry, sadly I’ve decided to call an end to our marriage,” began the message to the ex-model Jerry Hall, his wife of six years. “We have certainly had some good times, but I have much to do…My New York lawyer will be contacting yours immediately,” continued the e-mail, revealed in a Vanity Fair profile that shows a new side of the owner of the media group Fox.

The message took Hall by surprise. It was June 2022, and she was waiting for Murdoch at their property in Oxfordshire. The abrupt ending came after an eight-year relationship and six years of marriage. “Rupert and I never fought,” the ex-model, caught by surprise, told her friends. The divorce was finalized two months later. The separation agreement, according to the magazine article, prohibited Hall from sharing ideas with the writers of Succession, the successful HBO series about a powerful media family inspired by the magnate’s own.

That pact of silence wasn’t the only thing demanded of Jerry Hall, who was also previously married to Mick Jagger. She had 30 days to abandon the Bel Air house and remove her belongings, as long as she had receipts to prove that the objects were hers. Sources close to Hall told Vanity Fair that she was “devastated, mad, and humiliated.”

Hall and Murdoch’s relationship began in 2013, when she was in Melbourne playing Mrs. Robinson in the stage play of The Graduate. Penny Fowler, Murdoch’s niece and friend of the former model, suggested that they meet. Hall’s close friend Tom Cashin recalls that the model said that Murdoch “was an old-fashioned gentleman. We laughed together nonstop.” The pair spent months exchanging emails and talking on the phone before their first date in New York.

“Mick was so unfaithful to you, I’d never be unfaithful,” the multimillionaire told Hall. In March 2016, the couple married in an 18th-century mansion in London, in front of a hundred guests, including musician Bob Geldof, journalist Rebekah Brooks, actor Michael Caine and artist Tracey Emin, a week before Murdoch’s 85th birthday. “No more tweets for ten days or ever! Feel like the luckiest AND happiest man in world,” the groom posted on Twitter after the ceremony.

A fifth failed marriage at 92 years old

Just nine months after the divorce from Hall, Rupert Murdoch announced that, at 92 years old, he would go to the altar for the fifth time with Ann Lesley Smith. “We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together,” the magnate said in March when the news went public. Murdoch and Smith got engaged in New York on Saint Patrick’s Day. Murdoch told the New York Post that he gave Smith a diamond solitaire ring that he “personally selected.”

The wedding announcement didn’t surprise Hall, according to Vanity Fair. Four months after the divorce, Murdoch and Smith had been photographed on vacation together in Barbados. The ex-model told her close friends that her husband had moved on the same way he did in his prior relationships.

But the announcement of the cancellation of Murdoch’s fifth and last wedding —as the magnate himself claimed— was unexpected. Just weeks after their engagement, the multimillionaire suddenly ended the relationship due to major differences in opinions: Murdoch did not like Smith’s evangelical beliefs, according to anonymous sources quoted by Vanity Fair.

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