Google cofounder Sergey Brin quietly divorced his wife this year after allegations that she had an affair with Elon Musk

Musk denied having an affair with Shanahan, Brin's wife.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Brin filed for divorce in January 2022, citing "irreconcilable differences" after three years of marriage. The two met at a yoga retreat in 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported last year.

Shanahan and Brin got married on November 11, 2018, court documents showed. About two weeks later, their daughter was born.

Under the terms of their divorce, Shanahan and Brin are set to split legal and physical custody of their daughter, now 4. Issues including spousal support, lawyer fees, and the division of their assets were settled in confidential arbitration, as part of a stipulation in their prenuptial agreement, according to court documents. The pair also agreed to "non-guideline" child support, though the dollar amount was kept secret, the divorce filings showed.

Shanahan, a lawyer and the founder of the nonprofit Bia-Echo Foundation, did not contest the divorce but did ask the court to award her spousal support, the court papers said.

People familiar with the matter told the Journal that the divorce was sparked by allegations of an affair between Shanahan and Musk, who was friends with Brin for years. Musk once fondly recalled a time when Tesla was struggling during its formative years but Brin and Larry Page, the other Google cofounder, still decided to invest in the company.

Musk and Shanahan are accused of having an affair sometime in December 2021, people familiar with their relationship told the Journal last year. Brin indicated in the divorce filings that the two had been separated since December 15, 2021, while Shanahan said it was "TBD."

Musk said on Twitter, now X, that the Journal's 2022 article was "total bs."

"Sergey and I are friends and were at a party together last night," he wrote on July 24, 2022. "I've only seen Nicole twice in three years, both times with many other people around. Nothing romantic."

Shanahan also denied that she'd had an extramarital relationship with Musk, calling the scandal "utterly debilitating" in an interview with People magazine.

Brin had hoped to keep the divorce proceedings under wraps.

Court records showed that his attorneys filed multiple requests to seal the divorce documents, citing extensive media coverage from various outlets, including Insider, of Brin's previous relationship.

Brin was previously married to 23andMe's cofounder Anne Wojcicki for eight years. Insider reported in 2013 that the couple were no longer living together.

One of his attorneys said in a January 2022 filing that "danger arising out of the disclosure of confidential information about the parties' minor child is a significant concern."

A judge rejected the request, saying that the "burden of proof" had not been met.

Attorneys for Shanahan and Brin did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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