Elon Musk has denied claims he had an affair with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin at Art Basel Miami last December, which allegedly led to the pair’s divorce.
Musk, 51, took to Twitter Sunday evening in response to sources who alleged he got down on one knee to beg Brin for his forgiveness at a party earlier this year after the Google founder learned of Musk’s affair with his wife, Nicole Shanahan.
The billionaire tweeted in response to an article in the Wall Street Journal detailing the sordid saga: ‘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 many other people around. Nothing romantic.’
He promptly gave a little more intimate information, claiming: ‘Haven’t even had sex in ages (sigh)’.
Elon Musk (pictured in Mykonos in Greece last week) has been accused of having an affair with Nicole Shanahan, the wife of Google co-founder
The Tesla CEO is denying the claims and saying that he ‘hasn’t had sex in ages’ (pictured at Art Basel in December when the affair is alleged to have taken place)
Musk, 51, took to Twitter Sunday evening in response to the reports that he allegedly got down on one knee to beg Sergey Brin (pictured right) for his forgiveness at a party earlier this year after the Google founder learned of Musk’s affair with his wife Nicole Shanahan and filed for divorce, according to sources close to them
From food stamps to the world’s richest men: Meet Nicole Shanahan
The woman who allegedly broke up Elon Musk and Sergey Brin’s years-long friendship grew up in poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area before becoming a lawyer and dating some of the world’s richest men.
Sources say Shanahan is asking for $1 million in her divorce – more than what she agreed to in a prenup, but a far cry from what she had as a child, when she lived off food stamps and tried to help her two unemployed parents financially.
She has been heralded as a ‘changemaker’ for the work she has done fighting for criminal justice reform, helping to improve the environment and researching women’s reproductive longevity.
In an interview with Modern Luxury Magazine, Shanahan told of the struggles she faced as a child and how they led her to become an entrepreneur in her own right.
‘As a kid, I really had to figure out how the world works on my own,’ she said, explaining how her father was diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia when she was young, and her mother was a Chinese immigrant trying to make it in America.
By 2003, she started attending the University of Puget Sound, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and Mandarin Chinese, according to her LinkedIn profile.
She then went on to study global intellectual property trade and Chinese law at the National University of Singapore in 2013, before starting law at Santa Clara University.
By the time she was in her early 20s, Modern Luxury reports, she got a job at RPX Corporation as a patent specialist, but she quit after just 10 months after she was sexually assaulted.
Shanahan said she then developed severe depression, quit law altogether and moved in with her aunt for a while.
But after a while, she was able to get her feet back on the ground – and even founded her own AI-enabled patent management company, ClearAccessIP, which she sold last year.
She has since devoted her time to Bia-Echo, an investment firm she founded that pours money into organizations supporting reproductive longevity and equality; criminal justice reform; and preserving a healthy and liveable planet, according to its website.
Some of Musk’s followers were critical of the Wall Street Journal’s reporting, with which he agreed: ‘WSJ has run so many bs hit pieces on me and Tesla I’ve lost count! It’s embarrassing for them, frankly’.
Musk also urged his followers to call out the press.
‘WSJ is supposed to have a high standard for journalism and, right now, they are way sub tabloid. WSJ should be running stories that actually matter to their readers and have solid factual basis, not third-party random hearsay,’ he added.
Musk is said to have had a brief fling with Brin’s lawyer wife Nicole Shanahan at Art Basel, a multi-day art event in Miami, in December last year.
It allegedly prompted Brin, the eighth richest man in the world with a net worth of $95billion, to file for divorce in January.
He cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the reason, but The Wall Street Journal on Sunday reported that it was Musk’s dalliance with Nicole that signaled the end of their marriage.
Art Basel took place in Miami last year between December 2 and December 4.
According to the Journal’s sources, Nicole and Sergey were already having marital problems because of the stress of COVID-19. They were also arguing over the care of their four-year-old daughter.
It’s unclear if Sergey attended Art Basel but Musk, newly single after splitting from musician Grimes, was there and at some stage allegedly became romantic with Nicole.
A month later, Sergey filed for divorce. In the official papers, he gave December 15 as the date of separation.
Sources cited by the Journal say Nicole is now seeking $1billion in their divorce – a fraction of her husband’s $95billion wealth but more than he says she is entitled to under the conditions of their prenuptial agreement, according to the Journal.
She is arguing that he forced her to sign the prenup under duress while pregnant, according to the newspaper.
At a party after Sergey filed for divorce, Musk is said to have run into him and begged for his forgiveness. Publicly, he accepted his apology but the two – who were once close friends – are no longer on regular speaking terms, the Journal’s sources say.
Sergey and Nicole met at a yoga retreat in 2016, according to the Journal. She was, at the time, a patent lawyer and tech entrepreneur in her own right.
Nicole was profiled on the cover of San Francisco magazine in June last year.
She was heralded as a ‘change maker’, and told the interviewer how she overcame a childhood with a ‘bipolar schizophrenic father.
‘My dad was diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia when I was 9, and my Chinese-born mom had only been in the US for two years when I was born. I had two unemployed parents for the majority of my childhood, so not only was there no money, there was almost no parental guidance, and as you can imagine with a mentally ill father, there was lots of chaos and fear.’
Elon Musk arriving at Art Basel in December 2021. Sergey Brin filed for divorce in January , a month after his wife Nicole had an affair with Elon Musk. In January, Brin filed for divorce citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ from his wife. He asked for the docket to be sealed
Musk with Brin (far right) in the early 2000s. The affair has, unsurprisingly, brought an abrupt end to their friendship
She told of growing up on food stamps and bussed tables when she was 12, and how the internet changed her life.
‘Without the internet I would probably still be in Oakland doing the same thing I was doing age 12’.
Musk was one of the first dot.com billionaires. He created the company that went on to become PayPal.
Nicole, in her interview, told of her desire to leave behind a legacy of ‘ideas’ and ‘helping the planet’.
‘I want my legacy to be one of ideas. I want it to be about evolving the human experience on this planet in an abundant way. I want it to be one of strength and love and compassion. I want it to be one of working hard, learning from one’s mistakes and of personal growth.’
It’s unclear how long the romance with Musk lasted but it occurred in the same month that he welcomed a baby girl via a surrogate with his ex-girlfriend Grimes, and was a month after he secretly welcomed twins with a former executive from one of his companies. He started dating current girlfriend Natasha Bassett in February.
Sergey Brin and Nicole Shanahan are shown on Lake Como in July last year. She said in January when their divorce was announced: ‘I hope for Sergey and I to move forward with dignity, honesty and harmony for the sake of our child. And we are both working towards that.
Nicole in the June 2021 issue of Silicon Valley magazine
The affair, the latest romantic scandal to befall Musk, comes amid his ongoing legal battle with Twitter which is harming the company’s bottom line but also the future of social media.
All of the drama led to Twitter missing expectations with revenue of $1.18billion.
On Friday, the company blamed it on how Musk had disrupted business with his dramatic hostile bid take-over, then sudden about-turn.
‘Twitter is on a rowboat in the middle of a storm. The Musk saga rocked the boat even harder. Twitter is now in the unenviable position of convincing advertisers that its ad business is solid,’ analyst Jasmine Enberg said of the saga.
When Brin filed for divorce in January, the real reason for the divorce was not clear.
He cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ in divorce papers but asked for the docket to be sealed to protect his young daughter.
The affair brought an abrupt end to Elon and Sergey’s years-long friendship; in 2008, Sergey gave $500,000 in funding to Tesla at the height of the financial crisis.
Brin and Shanahan, who began dating in 2015, made their public debut as a couple at the 2016 Met Gala, when they walked the red carpet together (pictured). Musk attended the event that year with his mother. Right, Brin and Shanahan in 2018 when she was pregnant with their daughter
Brin is shown in March this year, three months after filing for divorce, looking cozy on the red carpet with an unidentified blonde at the Vanity Fair Oscars party
Shanahan works for the firm Bia-Echo, an investment firm whose interests include ‘reproductive longevity and equality’
Elon has also spoken fondly of crashing at Sergey’s homes. Brin and Shanahan, 37, share a daughter, who was born in 2018.
The Google founder has asked to share custody of her as part of the divorce arrangements, which they are fighting to keep private out of fear that their daughter will be put at risk of ‘harassment’ or ‘kidnapping’.
Musk has not commented on the allegations.
Brin is said to own multiple interests in Musk’s many businesses, all of which he has ordered his aides to sell.
When the divorce proceedings were launched in January, Nicole told Puck: ‘I hope for Sergey and I to move forward with dignity, honesty and harmony for the sake of our child.
‘And we are both working towards that.’
She is a Stanford-educated lawyer who works at the firm Bio-Echa, an investment firm that pours money into projects like bolstering ‘reproductive longevity’.
Musk is shown in Mykonos earlier this summer. He was dateless for his day out with friends on a yacht. Right, he is hosed down by Hollywood super agent Ari Emanuel
Musk with Emanuel, his new wife designer Sarah Staudinger, and others on a yacht in Mykonos on July 17
Musk has five children with his first wife, Justine; twins Griffin and Xavier (who changed her name to Vivian and now identifies as female), and triplets Kai, Damian and Saxon. Their first baby, a boy who they named Nevada, died from SIDS in 2002 as a young baby.
In 2020, Musk and Grimes welcomed their first child together, a son who they named X AE A-XII Musk. They split in September last year, after conceiving their second child via a surrogate. That child was born in December but was kept secret until March this year.
Musk and his current girlfriend, 27-year-old Australian actress Natasha Bassett, were seen together in the South of France in May.
They are understood to have started dating in February.
He is not the only man in his family to have snatched headlines recently with his fornicating; earlier this month, Musk’s 76-year-old father Errol confirmed he had welcomed a second daughter with his own stepdaughter, Jana Bezuidenhout.
Errol married Jana’s mother Heide Bezuidenhout in 1979 when Jana was four.
In 1997, Errol and Heidi divorced. In 2017, he stunned his family by announcing that Jana, by now in her late twenties, was pregnant with his baby. She is now 35 and the pair no longer live together.
It Musk be love! Elon’s many romances (and children!) from first wife Justine to Amber Heard, Grimes and now Sergey Brin’s wife Nicole
Elon Musk’s fornicating has become almost as messy as his business dealings.
With nine children, two ex-wives and many other loves along the way, the 51-year-old has left quite the trail of heartbreak.
His most recent tryst with Google founder Sergey Brin’s wife has set Silicon Valley alight with scandal.
Now, DailyMail.com looks back on the eccentric billionaire’s complicated love life.
First wife Justine: 2000 – 2008
Elon Musk with his first wife Justine
Musk met his first wife Justine Wilson when the pair were studying together in Ontario.
They tied the knot in 2000, moved to Los Angeles and welcomed their first son – Nevada – who died when he was only 10 weeks old from SIDS.
They went on to have twins and then triplets together; Griffin, Xavier, Damian, Saxon and Kai.
She told in a Marie Claire article how she considered herself to be his ‘starter wife’.
The pair divorced in 2008 after eight years of marriage and five kids.
They were dating when he made his first millions through Zip2.com, an internet company that made him $20million in the late 1990s.
It was while they were dating and engaged that he founded X.com – which later became PayPal.
When they divorced in 2008, they had a post-nuptial agreement in place. It’s unclear what she received in the way of a settlement.
She wrote in her Marie Claire essay that Elon had made her ‘disposable’.
Talulah Riley, 36: 2010-2016
Musk married British actress Talulah Riley within weeks of meeting her after his divorce from Justine.
The pair married in 2010, then divorced in 2012.
They got remarried in 2013 and Musk filed for divorce but withdrew the following year. Eventually, Talulah filed for divorce in 2016.
They have always spoken highly of one another publicly and say they are on great terms.
Talulah said in a recent interview that they continue to ‘look after each other’
Musk with Talulah Riley, his second wife (who he married twice) and his twin sons Griffin, left, and Xavier, right, in 2010
Amber Heard: 2017-2018
Musk went public with Amber Heard the following year, after her acrimonious divorce from Johnny Depp.
Elon Musk with Amber Heard
While their relationship was brief (they parted ways after just a year), they seemed to remain friends.
Musk honored Amber’s promised payments to the ACLU that she said she was going to pay using her divorce settlement from Depp.
She had pledged to give the full $7million to the charities but revealed under questioning that she hadn’t been able to, and that Musk made some payments in her name.
Heard’s embarrassing court battle with Depp played out for months at a trial in Virginia earlier this year.
Musk stayed out of it and was not called to the stand to testify, unlike Johnny’s ex Kate Moss.
He tweeted at the end of the trial that he hoped they would both ‘move on’.
‘At their best, they are both amazing,’ he said.
After Heard, Musk moved on with the singer Grimes, making their debut as a couple at the 2018 Met Gala.
They welcomed a son in May 2020 and named him X Æ A-Xii.
By September 2021, the pair had broken up. Musk told Page Six they were still on ‘great terms’, however. In December 2021, Grimes stunned the world by announcing the pair had welcomed another baby – a daughter who they had via a surrogate.
The baby girl’s name is Exa Dark Sideræl but they refer to her as ‘Y’. Now, they say they are ‘fluid’ in their relationship.
Musk with his ex-girlfriend Grimes, left. They have two kids together – a son, X Æ A-Xii (right with Musk) and a daughter, Y, who they welcomed in December
Natasha Bassett – Feb 2022
Musk was pictured with Australian actress Natasha Bassett for the first time in May this year. The pair were spotted having a romantic lunch in the South of France while both in town for movie premieres and weddings.
He did not take her as his guest to the wedding of Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel and designer Sarah Staudinger, but the pair were seen laughing, eating and drinking during their date that was over the same weekend.
Bassett, 27, had reportedly taken Musk’s mother, Maye, as her date to a film premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
Bassett moved to the US from Australia when she was 19. She first worked in New York then traveled to L.A. It’s unclear how she and Musk met.
Elon Musk with his 27-year-old girlfriend, Natasha Bassett, in the South of France in May,
Shivon Zilis, 2021
Zilis, who was born in Ontario, Canada, met Musk through OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence research-and-deployment nonprofit Musk cofounded in 2015
Zilis, who was born in Ontario, Canada, met Musk through OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence research-and-deployment nonprofit Musk cofounded in 2015.
She studied economics and philosophy at Yale where she also played goalie on the women’s ice-hockey team.
In 2015, Zilis was on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the venture-capital category and in 2017, got the chance to use her AI expertise at Tesla.
Just last year, Zilis posted a nod to Prince Harry’s Silicon Valley startup with a throwback picture of the two of them from 2013 when she was asked to brief him on tech startups.
Zilis is currently the director of operations and special projects for Neuralink, Musk’s brain-machine interface company.
The company has boasted its success in implanting company chips into monkey brains, claiming the primates were now capable of playing pong, CNN reported.
Since then, the company has had to address concerns about its testing practice as it denied allegations of animal cruelty despite confirming earlier this year that monkey’s have died as part of its testing.
Laughing it off: Musk shrugged off headlines about his many children earlier this month by joking that he was helping the ‘underpopulation crisis
And now for the mini Musks!
Musk has nine children today who range in age from 18 to just a few months old.
Tragically, his first child, Nevada, died in 2002 before his first birthday. It was a case of SIDS, the unexplained but fearfully common syndrome which causes infants to die in their sleep.
Nevada was Elon’s first child with his first wife Justine.
Twins Griffin and Vivian (nee Xavier), 18
Musk’s 18-year-old twins, Griffin and Vivian, are understood to live with their mother Justine in California.
Earlier this year, Vivian filed legal paperwork asking for her name to be changed and to be legally considered female.
Shown above is Xavier, who has since changed her name and gender to become Vivian. This pictured was taken at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Queensland, Australia, in 2017 when she would have been 12 years old
She was born male, like her twin brother.
In the filing, she emphatically asked to be disassociated from her father and his last name.
After the filing became public, Justine tweeted that she was ‘proud’ of her ‘child’.
Triplets Kai, Damian and Saxon, 16
Kai, Damian and Saxon were born to Musk and his first wife Justine in 2006. The triplets are now 16 and already showing promise of following in their father’s scientific footsteps.
Damian is an alumni of the Wolfram Summer Camp, an intensive summer program in California.
Musk and Grimes are pictured with officials and, far right, several of his teenage sons. Musk is a father of six – 17-year-old twin sons, Griffin and Xavier and 15-year-old triplets, Kai, Saxon, and Damian, with his ex-wife Justine Wilson, and one-year-old son X Æ A-12, with Grimes
In a description of his efforts at the camp last year, the school said: ‘Damian Musk is an aspiring physicist currently doing computational and theoretical research work at Caltech and Fermilab Theory in quantum gravity and quantum information.
‘Similarly passionate about fiction writing and musical performance and composition, Damian enjoys exploring the interplay between music and science, hoping to bring scientific sensibilities to his art and artistic sensibilities to his research.’
X Æ A-12, two, and Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, eight months
Musk’s two kids with Grimes are both under three and have equally baffling names.
Their son, X, was born in 2020 and has since made delightful appearances at some of his father’s business events.
She noted that her son ‘out there’ because Elon has been ‘bringing him to everything,’ however she doesn’t want her daughter to have the same attention. Elon and X are pictured in December 2021
Grimes carried him to term.
Their daughter, Exa Dark Siderael, was born in December via a surrogate.
Her birth was announced in March this year. The couple call her ‘Y’ for short.
Twins with Shivon Zilis
Musk welcomed twins with Shivon Zilis in November last year. Their names are not known, and their existence wasn’t either until earlier this year when court filings in August gave them away.
Zilis had asked in her filings that the children be given their father’s last name, and her last name as a middle name.
Their births were reported by Insider, which did not name the babies to protect their privacy.