Still getting out there

Murdoch said dating Roman Abramovich’s former mother-in-law

92-year-old media mogul currently cruising in the Mediterranean with Jewish molecular biologist Elena Zhukova

Rupert Murdoch at a dinner at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, May 4, 2017. (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)
Rupert Murdoch at a dinner at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, May 4, 2017. (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch is reportedly dating the former mother-in-law of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, four months after breaking off his engagement to Ann Lesley Smith.

The Daily Mail reported Monday that Murdoch is currently cruising the Mediterranean with his new girlfriend, Elena Zhukova, whom he met through one of his ex-wives, Wendi Deng.

Murdoch is said to have invited Zhukova after meeting her at a family party organized by Deng, and the couple has been cruising together around southern Italy and Greece for several weeks. They have been spotted aboard the Christian O, the legendary yacht once owned by Aristotle Onassis and have been joined at times by Murdoch’s daughters Grace and Chloe, according to the Daily Mail. The 18-bedroom yacht reportedly costs over $750,000 a week to rent.

While their relationship is still new, a friend of Murdoch told the US website The Drudge Report, “He’s got the energy of people half his age. He just might be in love again.”

Zhukova, who used to work as a molecular biologist at the University of California, is Jewish by heritage and faith. She used to be married to billionaire businessman Alexander Zhukov, but they separated in 1991 after which she moved from Moscow to the US where she raised her daughter Darya.

Darya (Dasha) Zhukova, 42, was married to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who holds Israeli citizenship and whose father was of Jewish descent, until 2018.

Murdoch and Deng, his third wife, divorced in 2013. In 2016 the media mogul married former supermodel Jerry Hall, whom he divorced last year. At the beginning of 2023, the mogul started dating conservative radio host Ann Lesley Smith and the two were engaged shortly thereafter. The engagement was broken off abruptly in April, with sources citing Murdoch’s discomfort with Smith’s evangelical views.

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