Elon Musk is said to have broken an old friendship with Google co-founder Sergey Brin after having an affair with his wife, Nicole Shanahan, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Sources familiar with the situation told the WSJ that the couple filed for divorce earlier this year, citing “irreconcilable differences”, but Musk has now denied both the alleged affair, saying he is still friends with Brin, claiming the report is based only on “random rumors of third parties”.
Musk and Shanahan’s affair is said to have taken place during the high-profile Art Basel event in Miami after Musk’s split with his then-girlfriend Claire Boucher, aka Grimes. Sources tell the WSJ that Brin and Shanahan were divorced but still living together at the time. The couple’s relationship was reportedly tense due to issues related to the COVID-19 lockdowns and their three-year-old daughter.
This is total bs. Sergey and I are friends and were at a party together last night!
I’ve only seen Nicole twice in three years, both times with lots of other people around. Nothing romantic.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 25, 2022
After the report was published, Musk responded via Twitter, called the story “total b.” According to Musk, “Sergey and I are friends and were at a party together last night! I’ve only seen Nicole twice in three years, both times with lots of other people around. Nothing romantic.” In one more answersaid the billionaire exec: “I haven’t even had sex in ages (sigh).”
Musk’s personal life is never far from his business, and that hasn’t changed even as the world’s richest man tries to end his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter. Earlier this month, a report was published by Insider revealed that Musk had twins with Shivon Zillis, a chief executive at his company Neuralink and a former Tesla employee. The twins were born just weeks before a surrogate gave birth to Musk and Boucher’s second child, bringing Musk’s number of known children to nine.
In May, a former SpaceX flight attendant accused the company of paying her $250,000 to keep quiet about an incident involving Musk. The victim claims that Musk asked her for a massage, exposed herself to her and suggested that she have sex.
Brin, meanwhile, was once called “the Google playboy” for his sexual involvement with employees, while HR manager Heather Cairns called his behavior “a claim of sexual harassment waiting to happen.” a 2014 Vanity Fair detail Brin’s relationship with Google Glass marketing manager Amanda Rosenberg, which happened while he was still married to 23andMe co-creator Anne Wojcicki, and she was dating another Google executive. After Brin and Wojcicki divorced in 2015, Brin secretly married Shanahan in 2018. WSJShanahan seeks a share of more than $1 billion of Brin’s nearly $100 billion fortune as part of the divorce process.
As described in the report, Brin and Musk had been close friends. Brin offered Musk-owned $500,000 in financing during the 2008 recession, and Musk returned the favor by making Brin one of the first customers to own the Model X in 2015. WSJ that Musk went so far as to get on one knee and beg Brin for forgiveness at a party earlier this year. The report claims the two still don’t speak often, and that Brin has told advisers to sell his personal investments in Musk’s companies.
Update July 25, 12:48 PM ET: Updated with tweets from Elon Musk denying the Wall Street Journal report.