Elon Musk’s Friendship With Sergey Brin Ruptured by Alleged Affair

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According to people with knowledge of the situation, Elon Musk had a brief affair with the wife of Sergey Brin in the fall of 2016, which led to the Google co-founder initiating the divorce process earlier this year and putting an end to the long friendship between the two tech billionaires.

Their falling out is one of a string of personal issues that Mr. Musk has dealt with even as he juggles business challenges, including manufacturing disruptions at Tesla Inc. TSLA 0.20 percent and a court fight over his desire to withdraw his $44 billion bid for Twitter Inc.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Mr. Musk has an estimated fortune of $240 billion, making him the richest person in the world, while Mr. Brin ranks eighth worldwide with $95 billion. Both of these estimates are based on the individuals’ current net worth.

Brin and Musk, two of the most successful businesspeople in the United States, have been friends for a very long time. Mr. Musk has stated that he stayed at Mr. Brin’s house in Silicon Valley on a consistent basis for a number of years.

During the financial crisis that occurred in 2008, when Tesla was having trouble increasing production, Mr. Brin gave Mr. Musk approximately $500,000 in order to help the company out. In 2015, Mr. Musk presented Mr. Brin with one of the first fully electric sport utility vehicles produced by Tesla.

According to those who are familiar with the situation, the tension between the two men and their respective teams has been rising over the course of the past few months. According to some of those people, Mr. Brin has given instructions to his financial advisers to sell any personal investments he may have in Mr. Musk’s companies. It was not possible to obtain any information regarding the size of those investments or whether or not there have been any sales.

Elon Musk Friendship With Sergey Brin Ruptured by Alleged Affair

Elon Musk’s Friendship With Sergey Brin Ruptured by Alleged Affair

Sergey Brin and his wife, Nicole Shanahan, in 2019.

According to documents submitted to the Santa Clara County Superior Court, Mr. Brin requested a divorce from Ms. Nicole Shanahan in January of this year, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the request. According to those people, Mr. Brin filed for divorce several weeks after he found out about the brief affair that had taken place.

According to a person close to Ms. Shanahan, Mr. Brin and his wife were separated but still living together at the time of the alleged liaison in early December. This information was provided by the person. In the petition for divorce that Mr. Brin submitted, the date of the couple’s separation was listed as December 15, 2021.

An attorney for Mr. Brin declined to comment on the situation. In response to a request for comment, Mr. Musk did not provide a response. Requests for comment from the media were also ignored by a spokesperson for Ms. Shanahan, who oversees the operations of a foundation that focuses on reproductive justice.

Ms. Shanahan discussed the decision to file for divorce in an interview conducted at the beginning of this month by the news website Puck. She said the following regarding the filing: “I hope for Sergey and I to move forward with dignity, honesty, and harmony for the sake of our child.” And that is something that we are both working towards.”

Over the course of the past two months, a significant amount of focus has been placed on Mr. Musk’s private life. He has been accused of exposing himself to a flight attendant while working at his aerospace company, SpaceX, which he has denied. The publication Business Insider reported that he had two children late last year with a female executive at another company he co-founded called Neuralink. One of his 10 children has publicly disavowed him. He has denied all of these allegations.

Elon Musk’s Friendship With Sergey Brin Ruptured by Alleged Affair

Elon Musk has sought to back out of an agreement to buy Twitter.

In the beginning of this month, Mr. Musk made an attempt to back out of an agreement to buy Twitter. He stated that the company hadn’t provided the necessary information to evaluate the frequency of fake or spam accounts. Twitter has indicated that it has “done everything in its power” to provide the information. It has filed a lawsuit against Mr. Musk in an effort to compel him to honour the agreement, and a Delaware court has agreed to fast-track the case and hold it in October.

A person who is familiar with Mr. Brin and Ms. Shanahan’s relationship says that they first met at the yoga retreat Wanderlust approximately seven years ago. Ms. Shanahan has been Mr. Brin’s wife for nearly four years. Both Mr. Brin and Ms. Shanahan had been previously wed; Mr. Brin to Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of the genetics company 23andMe Inc., and Ms. Shanahan to a finance executive respectively. Together with Ms. Wojcicki, Mr. Brin is the father of two children.

According to people who are familiar with their relationship, Mr. Brin and Ms. Shanahan’s marriage was already having difficulties in the fall of 2021. The primary cause of these difficulties was the shutdown of Covid pandemic operations, and the secondary cause was the care of their three-year-old daughter.

According to the information provided by those people, the meeting with Mr. Musk took place in the beginning of December 2021 in Miami at the Art Basel event. The Art Basel festival is held annually and spans multiple days. It is attended by wealthy people from all over the world.

According to people who are familiar with the incident, Mr. Musk got down on one knee in front of Mr. Brin at a party earlier this year and begged for forgiveness while profusely apologising for the offence he had committed.

The apology was accepted by Mr. Brin, but according to those people, the two men are still not in regular contact with one another.

After Mr. Musk’s September breakup with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, the singer Grimes, the alleged affair took place shortly thereafter. In December of 2021, Mr. Musk and Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, became parents to a second child, a daughter, through the use of a surrogate. Mr. Musk and Shivon Zilis, an executive at Neuralink, also welcomed twins into the world in the fall of last year.

Elon Musk’s Friendship With Sergey Brin Ruptured by Alleged Affair

At the annual gala for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2018, Mr. Musk was accompanied by his on-again, off-again girlfriend, the singer Grimes.

According to people who are familiar with the negotiations, Mr. Brin and Ms. Shanahan are currently participating in the divorce mediation process. Ms. Shanahan is reportedly seeking more than one billion dollars in the settlement.

According to the people who were interviewed, the two camps have not yet come to an agreement, with Mr. Brin’s camp maintaining that Ms. Shanahan is asking for significantly more than what her prenuptial agreement entitles her to. The side of Ms. Shanahan is arguing that her demand is only a fraction of Mr. Brin’s $95 billion fortune, and that she signed the prenuptial agreement under duress, while she was pregnant, according to the people. Ms. Shanahan is also claiming that she was coerced into signing the agreement.

In 1998, Mr. Brin and Larry Page established Google, which is now a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., GOOG -5.81 percent, and Mr. Brin was instrumental in the development of Google into one of the most valuable companies in the world. In 2019, both he and Mr. Page stepped down from their management roles at Alphabet, but they continue to serve on the board.

Since then, he has shown a significant interest in various forms of physical activity, and those who are familiar with him say that at one point he attempted to educate himself in a variety of Olympic sports. He is affiliated with an airship startup called LTA Research and Exploration, and he manages a family foundation that is worth $4.4 billion and has contributed to a variety of causes, including education and the study of Parkinson’s disease. He is in the process of writing a textbook on physics right now.