Looking for Robb Report UK? Click here to visit our UK site.

Rupert Murdoch’s Divorce Agreement Bars Jerry Hall From Giving ‘Succession’ Story Ideas: Report

Murdoch's ex is allegedly legally barred from providing the hit HBO show with new plot points.

Rupert Murdoch, Jerry Hall Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

For some, watching HBO’s Succession is a peek into a high-powered world of billionaires that they’ll never get to see up close. For others—take Rupert Murdoch, for instance—it could be like watching an unauthorized docu-series about your life. While the billionaire News Corp. owner has publicly stated that he’s never watched an episode of Succession, it seems he’s aware enough of the show’s plot lines and parallels that he had an interest in preventing too-close-for-comfort scenes from occurring; in line with that goal, his divorce agreement with his fourth wife, Jerry Hall, allegedly included a specific stipulation that barred her from ever giving Succession story ideas, according to Vanity Fair.

This detail of Murdoch and Hall’s divorce agreement was added as an aside in a new report from publication titled “Inside Rupert Murdoch’s Succession Drama,” which detailed a long saga of the business magnate’s family relationships and hunt for a worthy successor that, yes, reads very much like the plot points of Succession over the last few years. In June 2022, Murdoch reportedly sent Hall a brusque email ending their six-year marriage. A divorce agreement was drawn up quickly thereafter, and, per Vanity Fair, “one of the terms of the settlement was that Hall couldn’t give story ideas to the writers on Succession.

To be fair, the HBO drama has at times traced some aspects of Murdoch’s life with startling accuracy. For starters, the billionaire—like Logan Roy—has three children, two sons and a daughter, from his second marriage whom he’d allegedly viewed as his primary candidates to succeed him at the company, but with whom it hasn’t worked out for various reasons.

NEW YORK, NY - 1989: Rupert Murdoch poses with his wife Anna Murdoch and their children Lachlan Murdoch ,James Murdoch  and Elisabeth Murdoch at their home in 1989 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)
Rupert Murdoch poses with his then-wife, Anna Murdoch, and their children (from left), Lachlan Murdoch, James Murdoch, and Elisabeth Murdoch at their N.Y.C home in 1989. Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images

“He pitted his kids against each other their entire lives. It’s sad,” a source close to the family told VF.

Other smaller details that appear like Murdoch’s own life include a newsroom scene set in Succession‘s ATN in which Logan Roy stands on paper boxes to address the room; it’s a visually similar scene to when Murdoch did the same thing in The Wall Street Journal newsroom back in 2007. Even the birthday party scene for Logan from this season allegedly resembles Murdoch’s own celebrations: “One source said Rupert got word to [his son] James that it would mean a lot if James attended his 90th birthday party, but James didn’t go,” according to Variety.

Jeremy Strong in Season 4, Episode 1 of 'Succession'
Jeremy Strong in Season 4, Episode 1 of ‘Succession’ Claudette Barius/HBO

At one point, Murdock’s son Lachlan reportedly told him that his other son James was “leaking stories to the writers of Succession“—though Vanity Fair also reports that a person close to Lachlan has denied this story.

Succession, of course, has included many fictional plot points as well, and reports over the years have suggested that their storylines drew from a range of American media families as well as pure invention. “There was a good deal of my own research and life experience in there,” show creator Jesse Armstrong told HBO. “Then there’s the writing room, which everyone informs with their stories and backgrounds. We thought of famous media families like the Hearsts, to modern-day Redstone, John Malone, Robert Fitz of Comcast, Murdoch, and Robert and Rebekah Mercer, who founded Breitbart. Lots of real-life moguls. We collected a myriad of these kinds of relationships that we knew about.”

Read More On:

More News