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Yep, He Did It Again

Rupert Murdoch decided that at 92, it was time to give up the reins of power at his media empire — but it seems he believes age is no barrier for new love, or a new marriage.

On Thursday, Mr. Murdoch’s office said that he planned to marry his girlfriend, Elena Zhukova, 67, a retired molecular biologist whom he started dating in the summer.

The nuptials, scheduled for June, would culminate a topsy-turvy romantic journey to a fifth marriage for Mr. Murdoch, whose personal dramas have frequently made him the focus of the tabloid gossip industry he helped create.

After he divorced Jerry Hall, the model and ex-wife of Mick Jagger, in the summer of 2022, he became engaged to Ann Lesley Smith, a retired dental hygienist, in the spring of 2023. He abruptly broke off that engagement, however, after about two weeks.

He met Ms. Zhukova through his third wife, Wendi Deng, The Daily Mail reported in August, when it broke the news of the relationship.

Ms. Zhukova distinguished herself as a molecular biologist studying diabetes, including at the University of California, Los Angeles. But she also has an intriguing pedigree.

Having come to the United States from Moscow toward the end of the Soviet Union, her ex-husband, Alexander Zhukov, became a billionaire energy investor (he now resides in London as a British citizen).

Her daughter, Dasha Zhukova, is a prominent philanthropist, entrepreneur and arts patron who, until 2017, was married to the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

A representative for Mr. Murdoch confirmed that invitations to the wedding have already gone out; the event is to be held at Mr. Murdoch’s California vineyard and estate, Moraga.

Moraga was where Mr. Murdoch struck a deal with Bob Iger to sell a large portion of his media empire, his movie studios and cable networks, to Disney. That deal looks especially keen this year as the industry continues to be rocked by the evolution to streaming.

Mr. Murdoch announced he was retiring as the chief of his businesses last year, maintaining an emeritus role as his son Lachlan took over the reins more fully.

Mr. Murdoch’s marriage would be unlikely to affect the future of the company, which is held in a trust whose shares belong to him and his four eldest children — one with his first wife, Patricia Booker, the other three with his second wife, Anna Murdoch Mann.

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