New Delhi: The media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch, and actress Jerry Hall are on the brink of divorce as the news appeared in leading dailies on Wednesday.
Murdoch tied the knot with Hall in central London in March 2016. This would be Murdoch’s fourth divorce and is unlikely to change the ownership structure of businesses he holds stakes in, which include Fox Corp, the parent company of Fox News Channel, and News Corp (NWSA.O), publisher of the Wall Street Journal, according to the report.
The 91-year-old billionaire has full control over News Corp and Fox Corp through a Reno, Nevada-based family trust that holds roughly a 40% stake in voting shares of each company.
Bryce Tom, a spokesperson for Murdoch, declined to comment. A representative for Hall, who is 65, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. People close to Murdoch were shocked to hear of the breakup of a marriage, which had allowed Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert’s oldest son, to take a strong step towards running properties, including, in the US, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.
Before their marriage, they had love for each other and acted like a married couple, holding each other’s hands.
The billionaire, whose net worth Forbes estimates at $17.7 billion, has built a sprawling media empire with assets around the globe. He sold the Fox film and television studios and other entertainment assets to Walt Disney Co. (DIS.N) in a $71.3 billion deal that closed in March 2019.
Murdoch had to go through three divorces earlier. His first marriage took place with entrepreneur Wendi Deng. He divorced her in 2014, despite living 14 years together. They were blessed with two daughters.
Murdoch’s second separation took place in 1999 with Anna Murdoch Mann, a Scottish journalist. The couple had three children.
The media mogul and his first wife, Patricia Booker, a former flight attendant, divorced in 1966. They had a daughter.