Superstar model Jerry Hall is said to have been blindsided when she found out her 91-year-old husband Rupert Murdoch was walking away from their marriage, six years after declaring she made him the "luckiest and happiest man in the world."
If insiders are to be believed, Jerry, 66, received a text or email confirming the split in a move that came as a complete surprise to family and friends, but even worse it came as a shock to the beautiful star herself.
Only last December Rupert spent $400 million on a 137,000-hectare ranch near Yellowstone National Park in Montana in what many friends thought was one of the most extravagant romantic gestures of all time for his Texan-born wife.
But the gesture may ironically also have proved to be a major catalyst for the split with friends revealing that the pressures of two years spent in lockdown, including at the ranch, caused tension in the marriage.
"After the pandemic he had started snapping at her a little," one source told a British newspaper.
"They had been very isolated during the lockdowns because Rupert was having to be careful about his health, so they were spending a lot of time in each other's company.
But there was never any sign Jerry was anything other than content. She always spoke about Rupert very lovingly and according to friends was quite prepared to care for him if he fell into ill health."
It didn't help that Rupert preferred living in their $100 million New York penthouse, while Jerry preferred Montana and LA.
Friends also revealed that Rupert hated Jerry's indulgent lifestyle, even though she's not a big drinker, and pointed to those vices as a major source of tension between the couple.
"I was genuinely shocked when I heard," admits one friend of the couple. "Their marriage is very much the genuine article and if you ask anyone who has seen them together privately they will tell you Jerry dotes on him, so no one saw this coming."
Whatever the case, Rupert has not yet confirmed – or denied – reports of what will be his fourth divorce and has indicated he will not comment.
Jerry, who did not attend his annual summer party in London late last month has not commented either.
But friends say Rupert's swift ending of the marriage is par the course for the decisive businessman, "When he makes his mind up about something, it's short and sharp and that's it."
It was a different story when he married Jerry six years ago in London and appeared to be inordinately proud to have won the heart of the model, who shares four children with Rolling Stone legend Mick Jagger.
"Feel like the luckiest AND happiest man in the world," he tweeted when they got engaged in 2016, just six months after they were first seen together at the Rugby World Cup in London in 2015.
From all accounts the marriage appeared to be a match made in heaven, with the couple building a new billionaire life together, spending $20 million for a home near Henley-on-Thames and another $26 million on a Cotswolds weekender.
But Rupert's fortune will not be in dispute – the couple had an ironclad pre-nup.