WSJ Accuses Musk of Affair With Google Exec’s Wife, Elon Denies

The Wall Street Journal on Sunday accused Telsa CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk of having an affair with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, causing Brin to file for divorce. Musk fired back, calling the WSJ a “sub-tabloid” and claiming that he had just been hanging out with Brin that very day.

A Twitter post from this morning showing Brin and Musk partying appears to be authentic, as Musk replied to the tweet with, “Yeah, that was Sergey and me yesterday afternoon!”

The Journal article, last updated at 12:30 AM EST on Monday, paints a wholly different picture. They come out charging with their first sentence:

Elon Musk engaged in a brief affair last fall with the wife of Sergey Brin, prompting the Google co-founder to file for divorce earlier this year and ending the tech billionaires’ long friendship, according to people familiar with the matter…

Messrs. Brin and Musk, among the nation’s most famous entrepreneurs, were longtime friends. Mr. Musk has said that for years he regularly crashed at Mr. Brin’s house in Silicon Valley.

Musk is the world’s richest person and is currently involved in a lawsuit filed by Twitter against him as he walked away from his $44 billion agreement to buy the social media giant. His personal life also has been the subject of tabloid fodder as he’s had many high-profile relationships and a whopping 10 kids with multiple women. Brin, meanwhile, co-founded Google with Larry Page in 1998. He stepped down from management but remains on the board of Alphabet, now Google’s parent company.

The Journal further goes on to allege that the affair cost Brin his marriage:

Mr. Brin filed for divorce from Nicole Shanahan in January of this year, citing “irreconcilable differences,” according to records filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court. The divorce filing was made several weeks after Mr. Brin learned of the brief affair, those people said.

Brin is worth a reported $95 billion, and the divorce is currently in mediation, with Shanahan asking for a cool $1 billion settlement. That figure is higher than what she signed on for in her prenuptial agreement, but she claims she was under “duress” at the time because she was pregnant.

The Journal article is still available, but they did make a major update:

About 11 hours after this article published online, Mr. Musk tweeted: “This is total bs. Sergey and I are friends and were at a party together last night!” He added that he’d only seen Ms. Shanahan twice in three years with other people around and that it wasn’t romantic.

Elon being Elon, he also tweeted on Sunday,

One user asked, “what can we do about it?” referring, presumably, to the Journal article and not the billionaire’s relationship issues. Musk replied in a tweet:

Call them out on it, I guess. WSJ is supposed to have a high standard for journalism and, right now, they are way sub tabloid. WSJ should be running stories that actually matter to their readers and have solid factual basis, not third-party random hearsay.

It’s hard to know if we’ll ever find the full truth of this somewhat sordid episode. If the facts ever do come out, though, someone is going to be left with egg on their face—either the WSJ for shoddy reporting or Musk for lying through his teeth. Stay tuned, because one thing is for sure—Elon Musk is never boring.

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