A new and some might say unlikely couple is expected to make their debut next Saturday at Twickenham for the Rugby World Cup Final. A relationship between Texan model Jerry Hall, 59, and multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch, 84, was confirmed by their friends yesterday, and already the tabloids are all over it.
A little recap for those of you who may not know: Jerry Hall was one of the first supermodels in the 1970s. She was married to the Rolling Stones’ lead singer, Mick Jagger, for two decades and had four children with him. Their marriage ended after Jagger’s many infidelities finally became too much for Hall to take — and this remains one of the principal things she’s known for internationally.
Rupert Murdoch is an Australian-American businessman, media mogul, and CEO of News Corporation, the world’s second-largest media conglomerate. His media empire extends far beyond Australia alone, as he took over the UK’s News of the World, the Sun, and the Times. In the U.S., he bought 20th Century Fox, Harper Collins, the Wall Street Journal, and, more recently, National Geographic, which caused an outcry in international media. The thought that the quality magazine in the U.S. had abandoned its non-profit status to join 21st Century Fox was particularly worrying as free-market, right-wing mogul Murdoch is also a climate change skeptic. Murdoch divorced from his wife of 14 years, Wendi Deng, in 2013.
A source close to the couple reportedly said Murdoch was “very happy” and that Hall “makes him laugh.”
The news, broken by the Mail on Sunday and later reported by Murdoch’s own newspaper the Sunday Times, has also done the rounds on social media with many calling her a “money grubber” and comparing Murdoch to her usually-younger ex-boyfriends. One trait they all have in common, however, is the money.
— Lis (@LisahGi) October 26, 2015
Married Mick Jagger, dating Rupert Murdoch. I wonder if Jerry Hall would like the number of my therapist.
— Bella (@bellamackie) October 25, 2015
Jokes have been going around Twitter under the hashtag #MurdochJerryLoveSongs.
— Prowsey (@themadrabbit) October 26, 2015
It is believed the couple was introduced by one of Murdoch’s sisters and a niece while he was vacationing in his native Australia. Hall and Murdoch have been known to spend time together in the US, watching a Broadway musical in New York, but Saturday’s Final between New Zealand’s All Blacks and Australia’s Wallabies could be the first event they make an official appearance at together.
Murdoch is a controversial public figure and was slammed around the world after the phone hacking scandal revealed tactics News of the World’s journalists used to obtain information, which led to the biggest inquiry into the ethics of the British press: the Leveson Enquiry. Murdoch’s News of the World eventually closed down in 2011, his son James resigned from his role as Chairman of BSkyB, and Rebekah Brooks had to leave her position as CEO of News International under public pressure. (As of October 2015, Brooks has been reinstated and cleared of all charges in the Leveson Enquiry.)
Earlier this year, he made some strange statements about Muslims on Twitter following the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s terror attacks.
Murdoch’s fortune was estimated at $12.5 billion in October 2015, whereas Hall’s ex-husband Jagger is now worth around £353 million. Murdoch has been married three times before and has six children. His divorce from Wendi Deng in 2013 attracted much coverage in the media, as Murdoch suspected his wife from having an affair with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
[Photo of Jerry Hall by Stuart C. Wilson and of Rupert Murdoch by Larry Busacca /Getty Images]