Rupert Murdoch got married (again)

Rupert Murdoch tied the knot for a fifth time Saturday, marrying Elena Zhukova, a retired scientist from Russia. The wedding reportedly took place at Murdoch’s Moraga vineyard in California. Pictures from the ceremony published by U.K. newspaper the Sun showed Murdoch, 93, in a dark suit and yellow tie, while Zhukova, 67, wore a white dress. The Daily Mail reported that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and News Corp. chief executive Robert Thomson were among the guests at the ceremony.

The couple got engaged in March after they reportedly met at a family event hosted by one of Murdoch’s ex-wives in summer 2023, according to the Guardian. Photos of Murdoch and Zhukova on a yacht soon followed, adding more fuel to the relationship rumors.

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There are few details about Zhukova’s history, though multiple reports suggest that she is the mother of Dasha Zhukova, the ex-wife of former Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, who has been described as a well-connected Russian oligarch.

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Representatives for Murdoch did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Murdoch has tied the knot a few times before. His first wife was Patricia Booker, whom he was married to from 1956 to 1967. He was with his second wife, Anna, for more than 30 years before they divorced in 1999. He was married to Wendi Deng, a former employee of Murdoch’s News Corp., from 1999 to 2014. And, most recently, he tied the knot with former supermodel Jerry Hall. They were married for six years before they divorced in 2022.

In March 2023, Murdoch announced plans to marry former model and police chaplain Ann Lesley Smith. But Murdoch called it off less than a month later, after he had become “increasingly uncomfortable with Smith’s outspoken evangelical views,” according to Vanity Fair.

Murdoch’s marriage to Zhukova comes after a transitional phase in his long career. In fall 2023, he stepped down from his chairman role at Fox News parent company Fox Corp. and News Corp., passing the torch to his son Lachlan.

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The move came as the organization dealt with the aftermath of Fox News’s coverage of the 2020 election. In November 2023, Murdoch was deposed in a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit filed against Fox by the voting technology company Smartmatic. He was also questioned by lawyers for the voting technology company Dominion; Fox News and Dominion settled the lawsuit for $787.5 million in April 2023. Murdoch now serves as chairman emeritus of News Corp., which owns the Sun, the Wall Street Journal and other media organizations.

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