Elon Musk had an affair with Google founder Sergey Brin’s wife in December last year, which was the catalyst for their divorce, it has been claimed.
Friends of the pair told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that Musk’s romance with Nicole Shanahan was what prompted the Google billionaire to file for divorce in January.
It’s unclear how long the romance lasted but it occurred in the same month that Musk 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.
Brin, 48, the seventh richest man in the world worth an estimated $93billion, filed for divorce in January, signaling the beginning of one of the most expensive splits in Silicon Valley history.
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.
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
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.
Last picture together: Sergey Brin and his wife Nicole Shanahan in September last year, only two months before they separated
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.’
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
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,
Musk and his ex-girlfriend Grimes (left) welcomed their second baby via a surrogate in December, three months after splitting up. He had twins with Neurolink executive Shivon Zilis (right) in November
Laughing it off: Musk shrugged off headlines about his many children earlier this month by joking that he was helping the ‘underpopulation crisis’
Elon Musk with his 27-year-old girlfriend, Natasha Bassett, in the South of France in May,
He recently laughed off secretly fathering twins with Neurolink executive Shivon Zilis, tweeting that he was repopulating earth with his many offspring.
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.
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
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