Elon Musk: did Tesla CEO have an affair with Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s wife Nicole Shanahan?

The SpaceX CEO took to Twitter to dismiss reports of an alleged affair between him and Nicole Shanahan

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk allegedly had an affair with the wife of long-time friend Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google.

News of the alleged affair comes after it was reported that Musk had fathered twins with one of his top executives at Neuralink last year.

Musk and Shivon Zilis quietly welcomed the children just weeks before his second child with Canadian musician Grimes was delivered via surrogate.

This is everything you need to know.

Who is Sergey Brin?

Brin is best known as the co-founder of Google, alongside Larry Page who he met studying for his PhD in computer science at Stanford University.

He was the president of Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google, as well as other companies, like DeepMind, Calico and CapitalG, until he stepped down from the role on 3 December 2019.

Sergey Brin attends the 2019 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center on November 4, 2018 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize)

As of July 2022, Brin has been named as the eighth richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $99 billion according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.

Brin was born on 21 August 1973 in Moscow to parents Mikhail and Eugenia Brin, who were both graduates of Moscow State University - his father is a retired mathematics professor at the University of Maryland, and his mother a researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre.

Brin and his family left Moscow in 1979 and for a while lived in Vienna and Paris whilst his father secured a teaching position at the University of Maryland. They arrived in the United States on 25 October 1979.

Google founders Sergey Brin (L) and Larry Page (R) smile prior to a news conference during the opening of the Frankfurt bookfair on October 7, 2004 in Frankfurt, Germany (Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)

From there, Brin attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School and in 1990 he enrolled at the University of Maryland where he earned a degree from the Department of Computer Science in 1993.

Google originally began as a research project between Brin and Page in 1996, with the domain name www.google.com registered on 15 September 1997.

Who is Nicole Shanahan?

Shanahan is an entrepreneur, lawyer and philanthropist who married Brin in 2018.

She is best known for starting ClearAccessIP, a tech company that uses artificial intelligence to manage patents - she told the company in 2020. She is also the founder and president of Bia-Echo Foundation, which focuses on criminal justice reform, a sustainable future and supporting research on fertility.

Nicole Shanahan and Sergey Brin attend the 2020 Breakthrough Prize Red Carpet at NASA Ames Research Center on November 03, 2019 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize)

Shanahan and Brin welcomed their daughter in 2018, marking the second child for Brin, who previously had a son in 2008 with his first wife, biotech analyst Anne Wojcicki. He and Wojcicki got married in 2007 and divorced in 2015, after they separated in 2013 following Brin’s affair with Google Glass marketing director Amanda Rosenberg.

Did Elon Musk have an affair with Nicole Shanahan?

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Musk allegedly “engaged in a brief affair last fall with the wife of Sergey Brin”.

The article claimed that Musk and Shanahan’s affair is what led to her and Brin’s decision to divorce earlier this year.

Nicole Shanahan and Sergey Brin attend the 2020 Breakthrough Prize Red Carpet at NASA Ames Research Center on November 03, 2019 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize )

In June, Business Insider reported that Brin had cited “irreconcilable differences” when he filed for a divorce, with court filings showing that the two had been separated since December 2021.

According to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Brin and Shanahan were separated but still living together at the time of the alleged affair.

The Wall Street Journal added that “people with knowledge of the incident” said that Musk even got down on one knee to beg Brin for his forgiveness during a party that took place earlier this year.

Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

The report claims that Musk and Brin aren’t speaking, and that Brin told advisers to sell his personal investments in Musk’s companies after finding out about the affair.

What did Elon Musk say about the report?

Replying to a tweet that linked to the article from the Wall Street Journal, Musk wrote: “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.”