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Rupert Murdoch-Jerry Hall divorce: This business of love!

To start all over again or admit to costly matrimonial mistakes at any age is a challenge, but to do so in one’s 90s plucks ageism right out of love and life.

June 25, 2022 / 08:05 AM IST
Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall got married in London, in 2016. Earlier this week, newspapers carried reports of their impending divorce. (Images via Twitter/RupertMurdoch and Twitter/JerryHall)

Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall got married in London, in 2016. Earlier this week, newspapers carried reports of their impending divorce. (Images via Twitter/RupertMurdoch and Twitter/JerryHall)

As Rupert Murdoch embarks on a fourth divorce, the good news is he’s free to love again. A separation at 91 sounds more a passionate decision than cold plotting. In a world where most marriages muddle through to maintain status quo, here is hot rebellion.

The man who once tweeted that he was the luckiest and happiest man in the world on the day of his wedding to Jerry Hall did see some speculation over the fate of his marriage when she did not turn up at his last party. Now all speculation has been laid to rest – the media tycoon and the former model will not step into a seventh year of marital bliss.

There is a general air of ‘I care a damn’, about what people will say or catty comments on age gaps and alimony that permeate this announcement of divorce. At 65, Hall is two-and-a-half decades younger than Murdoch and the mother of singer Mick Jagger’s four children. Murdoch is her first husband.

A marriage at any age is a romantic occasion in any society, bringing on sighs and ‘so sweets’. A late divorce, though, is an eyebrow-raising event. Since both are matters of the heart, it is presumed, emotional clarity could be one of the reasons for major decisions in the evening of anyone’s life. One perhaps does not want to live a lie and opens up to authenticities as every day gets precious. To start all over again or admit to costly matrimonial mistakes at any age is a challenge, but to do so in one’s 90s plucks ageism right out of love and life. Is there any ideal age to love, to leave, to hope, to hurt?

With him a billionaire, this is a divorce that has the corporate circles losing sleep. Businesses tied up to his will want to chart how exactly the latest legal act will affect his wealth or at least allied decisions. As many experts on media and money put it, maybe none. An iron-clad pre-nuptial pact is expected to be in place, which will leave Murdoch’s bank balance pretty much the same as before. Divorce for him may be less about bank notes than love notes.

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To love or to leave demands a fidelity to self, a refusal to be led by the head. In amour, a confession of loss brings the same amount of anxiety and loneliness to a pauper as to a prince. There is also the fear of ridicule and being in the news for all the wrong reasons. Already we are quoting Andrew Neil, a journalist who reportedly said that he was advised ‘don’t fall in love with Rupert. He turns against lovers and chops them off’.

Murdoch and Hall have indulged in enough PDA – they first kissed at a rugby match in 2015 – for the public to act all shocked and holier than thou or pass snide comments about money not buying happiness. But as any nonagenarian will tell you, better late than never.

Jerry Hall shared this photo, taken by David Bailey, on Twitter in 2016 (Source: Twitter/JerryHall) Jerry Hall shared this photo, taken by David Bailey, on Twitter in 2016 (Source: Twitter/JerryHall)
Shinie Antony is a writer and editor based in Bangalore. Her books include The Girl Who Couldn't Love, Barefoot and Pregnant, Planet Polygamous, and the anthologies Why We Don’t Talk, An Unsuitable Woman, Boo. Winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Asia Prize for her story A Dog’s Death in 2003, she is the co-founder of the Bangalore Literature Festival and director of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival.
first published: Jun 25, 2022 08:03 am
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