Elon Musk Denies Reported Affair With Wife Of Sergey Brin

elon musk, tesla, spacex

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk denies Wall Street Journal report that he had an affair in late 2021 with wife of Sergey Brin, calling article ‘total BS’

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has denied a Wall Street Journal report alleging that he had an affair late last year with Nicole Shanahan, the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, calling the article “total BS“.

Writing on Twitter, Musk denied the Journal’s claim that his long friendship with Brin had ended over the affair, saying he was still friends with Brin and that they were “at a party together last night!”

Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, the Journal reported that the brief affair occurred in December of last year, at a time when Brin and Shanahan were separated but still living together.

Musk denied this, saying on Twitter, “I’ve only seen Nicole twice in three years, both times with many other people around. Nothing romantic.”

Nicole Shanahan. Image credit: Nicole Shanahan/Twitter Musk
Nicole Shanahan. Image credit: Nicole Shanahan/Twitter

‘Hit pieces’

In a separate tweet he said the paper “has run so many BS hit pieces on me and Tesla I’ve lost count”.

Shanahan is an attorney and founder of legal technology company ClearAccessIP and the Bia-Echo Foundation, a philanthropic organisation promoting women’s reproductive rights, criminal justice reform and ecological reform.

Brin filed for divorce from Shanahan in January, several weeks after finding out about the affair, according to records the Journal said were filed in Santa Clara County superior court.

Although the couple have a prenuptial agreement, they are currently negotiating a divorce settlement that could be worth as much as $1 billion (£830m), the paper reported.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin
Google co-founder Sergey Brin


Brin was president of Google parent company Alphabet until December 2019 and remains a member of the firm’s board.

He and Musk have been friends for many years, with Brin contributing about $500,000 of funding to Tesla in 2008 at a time when the company was struggling financially, according to the Journal.

The Journal report said that after finding out about the affair Brin instructed his advisers to sell personal investments in Musk’s companies, although the paper was unable to determine how large those investments were or whether any sales were made.

Musk is the world’s richest person, largely due to the high value of Tesla shares, with wealth estimated at more than $240bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Personal life

The same index estimates Brin to be the eigth richest person with wealth of around $95bn.

Musk’s personal life has featured in headlines a number of times this year.

On Twitter earlier this month he appeared to confirm reports he fathered twins in late 2021 with Shivon Zilis, an executive at his company Neuralink.

In June his child Vivian petitioned a California court to recognise her new name and gender, saying she no longer wished to “be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form”.

Twitter battle

In May Musk denied allegations that he sexually harassed a SpaceX flight attendant in 2016.

On Monday Musk said in a tweet that “the character assassination attacks have reached a new level this year”.

Musk is currently embroiled in a legal battle over his abandoned plan to buy Twitter for $44bn.

Brin, Shanahan and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.