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Mystery over £14billion tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s love split with fourth wife Jerry Hall

It was reported earlier this week that media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and his wife Jerry Hall are set to get divorced, with it having prompted speculation over a possible pre-nup

Solicitor Vanessa Lloyd-Platt told the Mirror: “What happened? It’s a huge mystery. The other question is why now? If Jerry decided to bring the marriage to an end, why would she choose to do it now?

“Because he’s 91, with the greatest respect, he’s not going to be around much longer. So you’d have thought she would have waited. Does it mean there’s no point in her waiting because the prenup is so ironclad?”

The big question many are asking now is how the divorce will be settled.

Murdoch’s previous wives signed pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and it is likely to have been the same with Hall, 65, whose own fortune was reported at £10million when they wed in 2016.

So the Texan model is unlikely to have her VIP lifestyle bankrolled in perpetuity – especially as, unlike Murdoch’s marriages, this one produced no kids.

Ms Lloyd-Platt said: “One of the important aspects is the fact it’s a six-year marriage with no children from it. That is crucial. So even if there isn’t a prenup, she’s not going to be one of these people like his second wife Anna, who he was married to for 32 years, that is going to come out with £1.3billion.

“After three costly divorces, having a generous prenup is not something Murdoch would do. Given he’s the shrewdest businessman ever, he will have tied up his empire into a completely tight trust. He’s a very savvy man.”

Legal experts suggested Murdoch’s children would have urged him to have an agreement with “prenups within the prenup” to protect his assets.

The family’s shares in his businesses – The Sun and The Times in the UK, Fox News and The Wall Street Journal in the US and papers in his native Australia – are held in a tightly managed trust.

Murdoch splits voting rights with his four oldest children – Lachlan, Elisabeth, James and Prudence – arranging them so he can never be outvoted.

Experts believe the only potential battle within the severance would be over the £270million property empire the couple built in the UK and US.

In 2019 they bought a £11.25million Georgian home near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. A year later they snapped up Great Tew Manor in the Cotswolds, earmarked for a £30million restoration.

Only six months ago they spent £228million on a 340,000-acre cattle ranch near Yellowstone Park in the US, begging questions about what changed since Christmas.

Divorce lawyer Georgina Hamblin said Murdoch is likely to have put a prenup in place – but if not, he could have to pay out. She added: “Short marriages are more likely to see couples leaving with the assets they each brought in, provided that leaves both with enough to meet income and housing needs.

“But where there’s a significant accrual of wealth during the relationship it could be available for equal sharing, even after a short marriage.”

“Prenuptial agreements are the best way to protect against such an outcome. So, given that this is Murdoch’s fourth divorce, we expect him to have a particularly good one. If not he could be required to part with half of what he has made during their relationship.

“In any event, there’s no doubt he is in a strong position to argue that a vast proportion of his wealth accrued prior to this relationship beginning and should not be available for sharing. He will also argue Ms Hall has enough of her own resources to meet her own needs.”

Though 91 and hard of hearing, the mogul has shown no let-up in his legendary work ethic since marrying six years ago. At the time he took to Twitter vowing to stop posting there, calling himself “the luckiest and happiest man in the world”. But any hopes of him becoming a stay-at-home husband would have been fanciful.

Hall’s marriage to Murdoch was her first after her Bali wedding to Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, with whom she shares four children, was ruled not legally binding.

The 6ft beauty is said to have fallen for Murdoch after telling friends she likes a man with strong opinions.

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They met in his native Australia in 2015 when Hall was touring with The Graduate, playing Mrs Robinson. They were introduced by Penny Fowler, niece of Murdoch’s sister Janet Calvert-Jones, and “got on immediately”.

After a whirlwind romance, they married at the journalists’ church of St Bride’s in Central London – 60 years after Murdoch’s first wedding.

Rupert has six children including sons Lachlan Murdoch and and James Murdoch

He wed flight attendant Patricia Booker, from Melbourne, Australia, in 1956. They had a daughter, Prudence, and divorced in 1967.

Months later, he wed Scottish-born journalist Anna Mann, who used to work for his Sydney paper, The Daily Telegraph. They had three children – Elisabeth, Lachlan and James – and their divorce was one of the most expensive in history, costing the tycoon £1.3billion.

Just 17 days after the settlement he wed Wendi Deng, but they split in 2013. Deng was accused of an affair with Tony Blair, vehemently denied by the ex-Prime Minister, godfather to the couple’s daughter Grace.

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