Musk denied having an affair with Shanahan, Brin’s wife.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
WSJ published a story last year that cited sources alleging Elon Musk slept with Sergey Brin’s wife.
Musk denied the affair, saying the two remained friends and shared a selfie of the two at a party.
The new Elon Musk biography reveals that Musk forced the selfie, which Brin tried to dodge.
Google cofounder Sergey Brin tried to dodge the now-famous selfie with Elon Musk that the Tesla CEO used to dispute allegations that he had slept with Brin’s wife, incited their divorce, and destroyed the two men’s friendship, according to a new biography of Musk by author Walter Isaacson.
The Wall Street Journal published a story last July citing multiple unnamed sources that alleged the longstanding friendship between Musk and Brin was “ruptured” after Musk had a one-night stand with Brin’s then-wife, Nicole Shanahan, in early December 2021. Both Musk and Shanahan denied any affair took place.
Brin and Shanahan were already having marital problems in the few months prior, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources, and were separated but still living together at the time of the alleged affair. Brin filed for divorce in January 2022, citing December 15, 2021 as the couple’s date of separation.
The same Wall Street Journal report cited sources who said that Musk dropped to one knee and begged Brin for forgiveness for the affair at a party sometime after the incident occurred — Brin apparently acknowledged the apology but wasn’t speaking “regularly” with Musk.
Shanahan strongly denied the affair in an interview with People magazine, calling the scandal “utterly debilitating.” She told People that she and Musk were never more than friends, and had only a “collegial” relationship — they had conversations about how to help her daughter, who has autism, given Musk’s background with his neurotechnology company Neuralink.
He posted a series of tweets calling the story “total bs,” asserting that he and Brin remained friends and “were at a party together last night,” and saying that he had only seen Shanahan “twice in three years, both times with many other people around.”
But Brin did not want the photo to be taken, Musk’s biographer Walter Isaacson writes in his new book.
“Right after the story broke, they were at a party together, and Musk maneuvered himself into a position where he could take a selfie with Brin, which Brin tried to avoid,” Isaacson states.
Neither Brin nor Musk responded to Insider’s request for comment.