Monday 20 November 2017

Relationships: The odd couple

Southern belle Jerry Hall is reportedly dating octogenarian billionaire Rupert Murdoch and despite the unusual coupling, sources say the pair are getting along swimmingly

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch

I can't be the only person who spat out my cornflakes and shouted in disbelief when I read that Texan supermodel Jerry Hall and 85-year-old billionaire media baron Rupert Murdoch are now an item. Sorry - what?

Beautiful, ballsy Southern belle Hall and cantankerous old man Murdoch? Compared to him, even the septuagenarian Mick Jagger seems like a spring chicken.

According to reports, the couple have been dating ever since Murdoch's sister and niece introduced him to Hall in Melbourne several months ago.

Apparently a "close friend" of the couple - a foolhardy source if ever there was one - told the Telegraph newspaper: "It's all very new. They are really enjoying each other's company very much.

"He is very fond of her. There is no question that they are a couple," they said before adding: "They could be the perfect couple."

Meanwhile, a source from Camp Murdoch said the relationship proves the octogenarian is "as vigorous in his private life as he is in business". A statement that makes one's blood run cold.

The pair have gone on several dates in California and New York. They recently took in Broadway hit show Hamilton - a hip-hop musical tribute to one of the USA's founding fathers.

On the surface, it may seem like an odd coupling. But as more celebrity relationships crumble, perhaps the secret to making it work is a healthy dash of unpredictability.

This year has been chocabloc with sleb splits, from pop stars Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards, comedians Amy Poehler and Nick Kroll, to reality-TV stars Vogue and Brian.

I don't adhere to the whole opposites attract philosophy. As Chris Rock rightly pointed out, if you're a born-again Christian and he's a crack addict, things probably aren't going to work out.

But casting against type can be a blessing in disguise. Just look at perfectly polished actress and Charlie's Angel Cameron Diaz and grungy Good Charlotte singer Benji Madden; towering model Sophie Dahl and pint-sized musician Jamie Cullum; or Quality Street heiress Millie Mackintosh and rapper Professor Green. Going against the grain is no bad thing. Sometimes the most enduring power couples are the ones we never saw coming.

This is the first relationship Murdoch has been in since his marriage to business woman Wendi Deng ended in 2013.

Hall famously split from Mick Jagger (pictured right) - with whom she had four children together, including model Georgia May in 1999.

Since then, she has been linked to a number of younger gents, including international banker Tim Attias and scientist Armand Leroi.

It's easy to see why Murdoch fell for Hall, that honeyed and husky Southern drawl could charm anyone.

I had the pleasure of meeting her last January when she touched down in Dublin for some forgettable charity drive.

She'd just cut her cascading golden curls off into a blunt bob.

"Right now, my style is 1965," she said. "After a certain age, you have to look dignified - I'm working on that. 1965 was ladylike but sexy."

During our four-minute heavily PR-monitored chat, she discussed hanging around in Paris with Yves Saint Laurent during the 70s, twin sets and why she hated Botox ("you lose your cheekbones - who wants that?").

There's a languid sexiness and unwavering confidence to her that's near impossible not to like. Plus, she has something that few people in the fashion industry have - a good laugh.

Let's not forget this is the woman who famously said: "My mother said it was simple to keep a man: you must be a maid in the living room; a cook in the kitchen; and a whore in the bedroom. I said I'd hire the other two and take care of the bedroom bit".

It can be tricky to understand what Hall sees in Murdoch. Yes, yes, I know he's disgustingly rich, but I don't think she's the gold-digger type.

Perhaps she's attracted to his confidence and unwavering self belief.

And when you think of it like that, perhaps he's not so unlike Jagger after all.

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