Elon Musk had a brief affair last fall with Nicole Shanahan, then-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, according to an explosive report from the Wall Street Journal published on Sunday. But while the Journal reports that the affair led to Brin’s divorce from Shanahan and the end of Musk’s close friendship with Brin, Musk has denied the report. On Sunday he called it a “hit piece” and on Monday tweeted a selfie of himself with Brin.
Brin and Shanahan were separated but still living together at the time of the alleged affair in December, a person close to her told the Journal. Brin, who married Shanahan in 2018, filed for divorce in January, citing “irreconcilable differences,” several weeks after learning of the affair, the Journal reported.
Musk dismissed the Journal report in a tweetcalling it “total bs.”
“Sergey and I are friends and were at a party together last night! Musk tweeted on Sunday. “I’ve only seen Nicole twice in three years, both times with lots of other people around. Nothing romantic.”
Monday, Musk posted a selfie with Brin in the background.
“I spoke to Sergey and Nicole about the article and they were both adamant that they had not spoken to the WSJ, or authorized anyone to speak on their behalf,” Musk told the New York Post on Monday. “Also, I was with Sergey from Saturday evening until yesterday afternoon with many mutual friends and it was a super positive atmosphere.”
The Wall Street Journal said in a statement to CNET that “we are confident in our supply and stand by our reporting.”
Musk and Brin were lifelong friends, with Musk often sleeping at Brin’s Silicon Valley home. Brin, who is worth $95 billion, has made several investments in Tesla since the 2003 founding of the auto company led by Musk. Alongside his Google co-founder, Larry Page, Brin contributed to a $40 million financing round in 2006. When Tesla was facing a cash crunch in 2008, Musk sent calls to several friends for investments, according to Ashlee Vance in her 2015 Musk biography. Brin invested $500,000.
The Journal reported that Musk apologized to Brin at a party earlier this year, but that Brin, while acknowledging his apology, was not on good terms with Musk.
Musk, in a later tweet, called the article “Tesla’s hit piece.”
News of the alleged affair comes at a turbulent time for the founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, who is also the richest person on the planet. Earlier this month, terminate the agreement to purchase the company.to complete its proposed $44 billion purchase of the social media platform after informing Twitter that it was
Around the same time, it was revealed that Musk and one of his top executives paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle the allegations that the billionaire exposed himself to her during a robbery.in November. Musk also fought claims that SpaceX
Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither Brin nor Shanahan, who runs a foundation focused on reproductive justice, could not immediately be reached for comment.