Elon Musk had an affair with the wife of one of the world’s top 10 richest men late last year which caused the couple to get divorced and ended the “longtime” friendship between the two men, according to a new report. Musk has since forcefully denied the accusation.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Musk “engaged in a brief affair last fall with the wife of Sergey Brin” in early December 2021 at the Art Basel event in Miami, according to “people familiar with the matter.”
Brin, co-founder of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is the world’s eighth richest man, worth nearly $95 billion. The company also owns Android and YouTube.
The affair prompted Brin to file for divorce from wife Nicole Shanahan earlier this year and has ended the friendship between the two men, the sources claim.
The report noted that Musk and Brin were so close at one point that Musk had regularly slept at Brin’s home and Brin had loaned Musk money at one point when Tesla was struggling during its early days.
The report claimed that Musk “dropped to one knee in front of Brin and apologized profusely for the transgression” during a party earlier this year and was “begging for forgiveness.” The report said that Brin acknowledged the apology but he is not speaking with Musk and he has ordered his team to sell his personal investments in Musk’s companies.
Musk responded to the report in a series of social media posts Sunday. “This is total bs. Sergey and I are friends and were at a party together last night!” Musk wrote on Twitter. “I’ve only seen Nicole twice in three years, both times with many other people around. Nothing romantic.”
“WSJ has run so many bs hit pieces on me and Tesla I’ve lost count! It’s embarrassing for them, frankly,” Musk continued. “They once wrote an article saying FBI was about to arrest me, so I called FBI to ask what’s up and they said WSJ article was total bs. Just more shortseller fud.”
Musk’s personal life has come under fire this year after a female flight attendant at one of his companies accused him of exposing himself to her, which he denies; his alleged fathering of two children with an executive at his company Neuralink, his dad fathering a second child with his stepsister, and one of his children publicly disowning him.
The issues in Musk’s personal life come as he is facing litigation surrounding his attempt to back out of buying Twitter, which he purchased earlier this year for $44 billion.
The Daily Wire reported earlier this month that a letter sent by Musk’s attorneys to Twitter’s Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde stated that he wanted to call off the deal because officials had not been able to give him the information he needed with regard to the percentage of fake “bot” accounts present on the platform.
“As further described below, Mr. Musk is terminating the Merger Agreement because Twitter is in material breach of multiple provisions of that Agreement, appears to have made false and misleading representations upon which Mr. Musk relied when entering into the Merger Agreement, and is likely to suffer a Company Material Adverse Effect (as that term is defined in the Merger Agreement),” the letter said.
Virginia Kruta contributed to this report.
This article has been updated to include Musk’s response to the Journal’s report.