Jerry Hall has been left ‘heartbroken’ by the abrupt end of her marriage to media mogul Rupert Murdoch and blames his children for driving a wedge between them, insiders said last night.
Hall, now 66, told a friend: ‘I still love him. I am devastated.’
Miss Hall filed divorce paperwork with the Los Angeles County Court yesterday, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the cause of the break-up.
She also claimed she was ‘unaware of the full nature and extent of all separate property assets and debts’ that will be involved in the hefty divorce. Mr Murdoch has 30 days to file a response to the paperwork. It can be revealed that Miss Hall was waiting in the UK for Mr Murdoch, 91, to join her when he sent an email saying the marriage was over.
The message added that she should communicate with him only via his lawyers.
It was a stunning show of ruthlessness from Mr Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive of News Corp who is worth £14 billion. Sources in Miss Hall’s camp say issues started to arise between them during the pandemic.
Miss Hall apparently assumed a ‘gatekeeping’ role to protect her elderly husband from the risk of Covid. ‘She used to joke that she was the Covid police, she wanted to keep him safe,’ sources said.
She now believes that led his family to think she was seeking to cut their regular contact with her husband of six years.
‘They thought that Jerry was keeping them from him,’ said a pal. ‘She does blame the children for souring the marriage.
‘They had a lot to say about it and a role in his personal life which she found a nasty surprise. Clearly, they mistrusted her.’ Earlier this year, according to the source, there were discussions with Miss Hall and the wider family about her financial status and what she might get when Mr Murdoch died.
It is said that some of the family were concerned that no further provision should be made for Miss Hall at this time.
The source added: ‘Jerry is truly devastated by what has happened and insists that it was all a bolt from the blue. One day they were making plans to be together for the summer in London, then there was this message instructing her to only contact him via lawyers.
Jerry started dating Mr Murdoch in 2015. After their wedding the following year, he bought several homes for her, including an £11 million house near Henley and a manor house in the Cotswolds which they were planning to renovate. He also bought her a 340,000-acre ranch in Montana for £228 million. Mr Murdoch already had a vineyard and winery in Los Angeles, a farm in Australia, an apartment in Mayfair and another apartment in New York.
The tycoon, whose empire includes The Sun and The Times newspapers as well as Fox News in the US, was first married to Patricia Booker, an Australian model. They divorced in 1967.