Of all the reasons why a billionaire press baron - Rupert Murdoch, 91 - might seek a divorce from a superannuated supermodel - Jerry Hall, 65 - the fact that the latter enjoyed a few cocktails accompanied by a cigarette or two wouldn’t appear to be the most likely, despite now being rumoured to be the case.

Surely he would have studied her form closely before making her his fourth wife in 2016, two years after she told Good Housekeeping magazine: ‘I smoke, I drink, I like wine, I love sun tanning, I drink coffee. I am doing all sorts of things I shouldn't do.’ At the time, Hall had a geneticist boyfriend a decade her junior: ‘Everything is water off a duck’s back…it’s something that happens with age. I am not bothered about anything. I am 58 - that’s pretty old. I look pretty good for my age, and I am enjoying that.’

The initial misogynist responses on social media - that Hall was a shameless sexagenarian gold-digger who had spied a better mark - were quickly disproved as not just rumours of him behaving like a disapproving dad towards his spry senior citizen wife emerged but also that he had broken up with her by text message. ‘What is clear is that he did the dumping,’ a source said. Another said ‘“I was genuinely shocked when I heard. 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.’

How in the space of six years did Murdoch get from ‘No more tweets for ten days or ever! Feel like the luckiest and happiest man alive’ on his wedding day to a man with so little respect for his wife that he couldn’t even tell her that their marriage was over face to face?
My (utterly uninformed) theory would be that this - like many failed romances - was simply a case of mistaken identity. He thought he was getting a tame trophy wife, probably into ‘wellness’ and yoga, who he could squire around New York before an early bedtime. But he found himself with a veteran rock chick who has preferred the louche ways of Europe ever since she was an ambitious teenager who left her Texan home for Paris and then London. She thought she was with a man who was so worldly that he’d give her a loose rein - and he turned out to be an old scold.

Hall is an *adventuress* in the best sense of the word; an admirable character who simply seeks to make life an awfully big adventure rather than be merely hatched, matched and dispatched as women historically were expected to be. She’s also a woman of substance, having worked since she was a child of 11, mucking out horse stables; a few months before she met Murdoch, she was performing as the Wicked Queen in a provincial production of the pantomime Snow White. She is generous; on hearing that a a teenage girl with Aspergers liked one of her horses, rather than sell it for a fortune she gifted it to her, made legal with a payment of £1. The girl’s mother said ‘It was overwhelming that somebody could be that kind - an immense act of kindness.’

She gives the impression of immensely enjoying her good fortune, unlike some miseries who've made it big in showbiz. No doubt her haters will now be around to remind her of famously relaying her mother’s advice on how to keep a man; ‘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.’ But she never claimed to be cut out to be a nurse-companion for a crotchety old man.

The leg-wrestling rodeo-sweetheart who escaped from an abusive home is still visible in the grande dame with the multi-million pound art collection and the twenty million dollar fortune. She’ll bounce back bigger and blonder than ever, while her exes continue to crumble around her. ‘Living well is the best revenge’ may be a cliché but in Jerry Hall - the most upwardly mobile Texan since Red Adair - we see it made fresh again.