Elon Musk denies having affair with wife of Google founder Sergey Brin

Elon Musk has shut down reports that he had an affair with Nicole Shanahan, the wife of Sergey Brin
Elon Musk has shut down reports that he had an affair with Nicole Shanahan, the wife of Sergey Brin

Elon Musk has denied having an affair with the wife of Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google.

Mr Musk took to Twitter to deny that he had had any kind of romantic relationship with Nicole Shanahan, describing reports as "total bs".

The Tesla chief, 51, is an old friend of Mr Brin - who co-founded the search engine in 1998 - to such an extent that, for years, he used to crash at his Silicon Valley home.

Mr Brin even lent Mr Musk $500 million to prop up Tesla in the early days and in return, he received one of Tesla’s first all-electric sport-utility vehicles.

"Sergey and I are friends and were at a party together last night," Mr Musk wrote on Twitter.

"I’ve only seen Nicole twice in three years, both times with many other people around. Nothing romantic."


The reports, which Mr Musk said were false, alleged he had a brief affair with Mr Brin's wife in December last year.

Mr Brin, himself the world's eighth richest person, and Ms Shanahan were separated at the time, but living together still, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. Friends said Mr Brin filed for divorce in January, weeks after he learned of the brief affair.

Ms Shanahan - who met Mr Brin on a yoga retreat seven years ago - is seeking $1 billion from the divorce, friends claimed, a fraction of Mr. Brin’s $95 billion fortune.

In early July, Ms Shanahan told the news website Puck of the divorce filing: “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.”

Rift manifests in corporate dealings

According to the Wall Street Journal, the rift between the two men has manifested itself in their corporate dealings – with Mr Brin instructing his financial advisers to sell his personal stake in Mr Musk’s companies.

Neither Mr Musk, Mr Brin, nor Ms Shanahan has commented on the allegations.

Watch: Grimes confirms she and 'boyfriend' Elon Musk split before baby number 2 news

The reports are just the latest chapter in a tumultuous year in the spotlight for the world's richest person, after recent reports he secretly fathered twins and has been engaged in a bitter fight with Twitter over his aborted attempt to buy the social media platform.

Earlier this month it emerged that Mr Musk had become the father of two children with Shivon Zilis, an executive at Mr Musk’s neurotechnology firm Neuralink.

Elon Musk pictured with his girlfriend Grimes, the mother of two of his children - Taylor Hill
Elon Musk pictured with his girlfriend Grimes, the mother of two of his children - Taylor Hill

The twins were born last November. Then in March this year, Mr Musk welcomed a second child born to his musician girlfriend Grimes.

Called Exa Dark Siderael, of Y for short she was a sister to “X Æ A-12” – or X – who was born two years earlier.

Now a proud father of nine, Mr Musk, hailed his growing brood on Twitter.

“Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis,” he wrote. “A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far.”

Mr Musk, whose businesses include space exploration company, SpaceX, has undergone a similarly turbulent time in his corporate affairs over the last few months.

Only last week his decision to stall on a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion triggered acrimony and aggressive litigation with the social media giant urging a court in Delaware to force Mr Musk to complete the takeover.

He had pulled out of the deal complaining about the number of fake and spam accounts on the service.

Earlier this month it emerged that Tesla had been hit hard by a spectacular fall in the company’s bitcoin investments.

Mr Musk had invested $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency, moving part of Tesla’s cash reserves into Bitcoin.

The bet backfired spectacularly, costing the company an estimated $440 million.

Tesla itself has run into trouble as the company faces competition from other car manufacturers moving into the electric vehicle market.

And late last month Tesla was sued by two former employees who accused the company of illegally laying off staff without notice.

Mr Musk, who said he had a “super bad feeling about the economy” said the firm needed to shed 10,000 jobs – about a tenth of the workforce – to cope.

Mr Musk has also recently been accused of exposing himself to a flight attendant at his aerospace company, SpaceX, while on a flight to London, an allegation he has denied.