Elon Musk had an affair with Google founder Sergey Brin’s wife in December last year, which was the catalyst for their divorce, it has been claimed.
Friends of the pair told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that Musk’s romance with Nicole Shanahan was what prompted the Google billionaire to file for divorce in January.
It’s unclear how long the romance lasted, but it occurred in the same month that Musk welcomed a baby girl via a surrogate with his ex-girlfriend Grimes and was a month after he secretly welcomed twins with a former executive from one of his companies.
He started dating his current girlfriend, Natasha Bassett, in February.
Brin, the seventh richest man in the world, worth an estimated $93 billion, filed for divorce in January, signaling the beginning of one of the most expensive splits in Silicon Valley history.
The reason for the divorce, at the time, was not clear.
He cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ in divorce papers but asked for the docket to be sealed to protect his young daughter.
The affair ended Elon and Sergey’s years-long friendship; in 2008, Sergey gave $500,000 in funding to Tesla at the height of the financial crisis.
Elon has also spoken fondly of crashing at Sergey’s home. Brin and Shanahan, 37, share a daughter who was born in 2018.
The Google founder has asked to share custody of her as part of the divorce arrangements, which they are fighting to keep private out of fear that their daughter will be put at risk of ‘harassment’ or ‘kidnapping.’
Musk has not commented on the allegations.
He recently laughed off secretly fathering twins with Neurolink executive Shivon Zilis, tweeting that he was repopulating the earth with his many offspring.
Musk has five children with his first wife, Justine; twins Griffin and Xavier (who changed her name to Vivian and now identifies as female), and triplets Kai, Damian, and Saxon.
Their first baby, a boy who they named Nevada, died from SIDS in 2002 as a young baby.
In 2020, Musk and Grimes welcomed their first child, a son they named X AE A-XII Musk. They split in September last year after conceiving their second child via a surrogate.
That child was born in December but was kept secret until March this year.
Musk and his current girlfriend, 27-year-old Australian actress Natasha Bassett, were seen together in the South of France in May. They are understood to have started dating in February.
He is not the only man in his family to have recently snatched headlines with his fornicating; earlier this month, Musk’s 76-year-old father Errol confirmed he had welcomed a second daughter with his stepdaughter, Jana Bezuidenhout.
Errol married Jana’s mother Heide Bezuidenhout in 1979 when Jana was four.
In 1997, Errol and Heidi divorced. In 2017, he stunned his family by announcing that Jana, now in her late twenties, was pregnant with his baby. She is now 35, and the pair no longer live together.