Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch gets engaged to Elena Zhukova

The 92-year-old has reportedly been dating retired Russian molecular biologist Elena Zhukova, 67 for several months

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has become engaged to his girlfriend, his team has confirmed.

The 92-year-old has reportedly been dating retired Russian molecular biologist Elena Zhukova, 67 for several months.

The marriage, which is expected to take place at his Moraga vineyard and estate in California this year, will be Mr Murdoch’s fifth, but sixth engagement.

He stepped down as chairman of Fox and News Corp last year.

According to the New York Times, which broke the story, the nuptials are set for June and invitations have already been sent out.

Australian-born Mr Murdoch was rumoured to be dating Ms Zhukova soon after his engagement to ex-police chaplain Ann Lesley Smith was abruptly called off in April 2023.

Elena Zhukova at the 54th International Art Biennale, Venice, Italy - 02 Jun 2011
Elena Zhukova, who is a former molecular biologist, pictured in 2011

The pair are said to have met at a party hosted by one of his ex-wives, Chinese-born entrepreneur Wendi Deng.

Mr Murdoch’s other former spouses were Australian flight attendant Patricia Booker, Scottish-born journalist Anna Mann, Ms Deng and US model and actress Jerri Hall.

Ms Zhukova was previously married to Russian oil billionaire Alexander Zhukov, while their daughter Dasha – a socialite and businesswoman – was married to the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich until 2017.

Rupert Murdoch began his career in Australia in the 1950s – eventually buying the News of the World and The Sun newspapers in the UK in 1969.

He later purchased a number of US publications including the New York Post and Wall Street Journal.

In 1996, he launched Fox News – now the most watched TV news channel in the US.

Through News Corp, which was founded in 2013, Mr Murdoch remains the owner of hundreds of local, national and international media outlets.

His career has not been without controversy. One of his most damaging moments was the notorious UK phone hacking scandal that erupted after it emerged that the News of the World had listened to murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s voicemails.

In September, Mr Murdoch announced he was stepping back from the leading role in his media empire – handing the reins to his son Lachlan and later taking on the role of Chairman Emeritus of both Fox and News Corp.

The New York Times reports that Mr Murdoch’s marriage to Ms Zhukova would be unlikely to affect the future of his businesses, which are held in a trust by his four eldest children.


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