In the fall of last year, Elon Musk had a brief fling with Sergey Brin’s wife, which prompted the Google co-founder to file for divorce earlier this year, according to persons familiar with the situation.
Mr. Musk’s split from his wife is only one of a number of personal problems he has had to deal with, including Tesla manufacturing problems and a legal battle over his wish to abandon his $44 billion offer for Twitter Inc.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Google co-founder Sergey Brin are the richest people in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with estimated fortunes of $240 billion and $95 billion respectively.
Brin and Musk, two of the country’s most prominent entrepreneurs, have known each other for a long time. Mr. Musk has said that for years he often crashed at Mr. Brin’s residence in Silicon Valley.
During the 2008 financial crisis, when Tesla was trying to raise production, Mr. Brin gave Mr. Musk around $500,000 for Tesla. Tesla CEO Elon Musk gifted co-founder Sergey Brin with the company’s first electric sport utility vehicle in 2015.
People familiar with the situation say that tensions between the two men and their teams have been rising in recent months. Others say that Mr. Brin has instructed his financial advisors to liquidate their investments in Mr. Musk’s enterprises. It’s impossible to tell how much money has been invested or if any sales have taken place.
The Santa Clara County Superior Court records show that Mr. Brin filed for divorce wife Nicole Shanahan in January of this year, alleging “irreconcilable disagreements.” Those close to Mr. Brin said that he filed for divorce some weeks after learning of the brief romance.
According to a person who is close to Ms. Shanahan, Mr. Brin and his wife were separated at the time of the alleged affair in early December. On Dec. 15, 2021, Mr. Brin stated that he and his ex-wife had divorced.
He refused to comment, according to a lawyer for Mr. Brin. A request for comment from NBC News was not returned by Mr. Musk. In addition, a representative for Ms. Shanahan’s nonprofit, which is dedicated to reproductive justice, didn’t reply to calls for comment on the story.
“This is complete bs,” Mr. Musk tweeted around 11 hours after this piece was published online. Our paths crossed at a party last night since we’re buddies. It wasn’t romantic, he said, because he had only seen Ms. Shanahan twice in three years with other people around.
“I desire for Sergey and I to move on with decency, honesty, and harmony for the sake of our child,” Ms. Shanahan said in an interview with the news website Puck earlier this month. As a result, we’re both putting in the effort.”
Mr. Musk’s personal life has garnered a lot of attention over the past two months. When a flight attendant at SpaceX accused him of having sex with her in the bathroom of his firm, SpaceX, which he denies; Business Insider reported that he had two children with a female executive at another company, Neuralink; and one of his 10 children has openly disavowed him.
Musk tried to back out of a deal to buy Twitter earlier this month, alleging the business hasn’t provided the required information to analyse the incidence of phoney or spam accounts. We’ve leaned over backwards to get you this information, Twitter says. An expedited trial in October has been agreed upon by a Delaware court to force Mr. Musk to adhere to the terms of the agreement.
An insider says that Mr. Brin and Ms. Shanahan, his wife of nearly four years, met at the Wanderlust yoga retreat seven years ago. He married Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe, the genetics firm, and she married a finance professional before they had a child together; both had previously been married before their current union. Ms. Wojcicki and Mr. Brin have two children.
People acquainted with Mr. Brin and Ms. Shanahan’s marriage said that by the fall of 2021, they were already having issues, particularly due to the Covid pandemic shutdowns and the care of their 3-year-old daughter.
According to the sources, the connection with Mr. Musk took place at the Art Basel event in Miami in early December 2021. Art Basel is an annual, multi-day event that attracts affluent visitors from all over the world.
Sources say that at a party earlier this year, Mr. Musk knelt in front of Mr. Brin and begged for forgiveness for the violation, having dropped to one knee.
Mr. Brin accepted the apology, but he still doesn’t communicate to Mr. Musk on a regular basis, according to those who spoke to the media.
In September, Mr. Musk allegedly ended his relationship with artist Grimes after an on-again, off-again relationship. A surrogate baby was born to Mr. Musk and Grimes, whose actual name is Claire Boucher, in December 2021. Shivon Zilis, the CEO of Neuralink, gave birth to twins with Elon Musk last October.
According to persons familiar with the proceedings, Mr. Brin and Ms. Shanahan are currently engaged in divorce mediation, with Ms. Shanahan asking more than $1 billion.
With no resolution in sight, Mr. Brin claims that Ms. Shanahan is seeking for more than her prenuptial agreement allows her to, according to persons familiar with the situation. According to the persons familiar with the situation, Ms. Shanahan’s side claims that her request represents a pittance of Mr. Brin’s $95 billion wealth and that she was forced to sign the prenuptial agreement while she was pregnant.
As a co-founder with Larry Page, Sergey Brin has been instrumental in growing Google from a small start-up in 1998 into one of the most valuable corporations in the world today. In 2019, he and Mr. Page stepped down from Alphabet’s management, but both remain on the company’s board of directors.
According to many who know him, he has been devoted to fitness endeavours since then, attempting to study a variety of Olympic sports at one point. An airship firm named LTA Research and Exploration is linked with him, as is a $4.4 billion family foundation that supports causes including education and Parkinson’s research. He’s now working on a physics textbook, which he plans to publish soon.
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