Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former supermodel Jerry Hall are reportedly set to divorce.
The New York Times cited two unnamed sources for its report on the upcoming split. He said a spokesman for Murdoch had no comment while Hall’s representatives could not be reached.
Australian-born Murdoch has been married three times before. Hall married Mick Jagger in 1990, but the union was called off nine years later.
The Times said people close to Murdoch were “surprised” to learn of the end of a marriage that had allowed Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert’s eldest son, to play a bigger role in managing properties including, in the United States, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. .
But Rupert Murdoch remains immensely powerful as a right-wing opinion maker and cultural touchstone in his own right.
Logan Roy, the ruthless media baron played by Brian Cox in HBO’s hit Succession, is largely based on Murdoch.
According to a recent book by two journalists from The New York Times, Murdoch’s ownership of Fox News, the main outlet for Donald Trump’s big lie about voter fraud, climate crisis denial and other right-wing rallying cries, means that US President Joe Biden considers him “the most dangerous man in the world”.
The split with Hall, according to the newspaper, could still “reverberate throughout [Murdoch’s] business empire, which maintains a powerful influence in America and abroad through its right-wing news brands, including the…the Sun in Britain and Sky News in Australia”.
Murdoch and Hall tied the knot in 2016, holding a civil ceremony before a celebration at St Bride’s Church on Fleet Street, the historic center of Britain’s newspaper industry that Murdoch transformed in the 1970s and 80s.
A friend of the couple told the Guardian ahead of the wedding: “They’re very sweet together, in a little couple bubble. They’re already acting like a married couple, talking to each other, holding hands.
“She puts her feet up on his legs, they disagree on things like any married couple. She hates Trump, he understands Trump, it’s been that way from the start.
On his wedding day, Murdoch tweeted: “No more tweets for ten days or never! Feel like the luckiest AND happiest man in the world. He hasn’t tweeted an original message since, and only three cryptic replies to other tweets.
In 2019, the couple spent £11.25million ($13.8million) on a home near Henley-on-Thames, near London. Last year, they celebrated Murdoch’s 90th birthday together in New York City at the Tavern on the Green.
According to Variety, “The gathering was limited to around 130 people and took place in a giant tent attached to the famous restaurant on the edge of Central Park.
“Some of the wine served came from Murdoch’s Moraga vineyards in Bel-Air. A source confirmed the obvious: The event seemed tailor-made for an episode of HBO’s hit drama Succession.
Variety also said, “A notable absence from the crowd that gathered for a cocktail followed by a sit-down dinner was investor James Murdoch, the younger of Rupert’s two sons.
“James Murdoch has publicly criticized aspects of his father’s empire, including Fox News and some Australian News Corp newspapers, and their coverage of important issues such as climate change.”
On Wednesday, the age disparity between Murdoch and Hall prompted The Times to call them an “October-December couple.”
Hall is now 65 years old.