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Elon Musk’s alleged affair with Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s wife led to divorce, report says

Elon Musk reportedly engaged in a brief affair with the wife of his longtime friend Sergey Brin, prompting the Google co-founder to file for divorce from entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan earlier this year, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.

The couple cited “irreconcilable differences” in a filing in the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County in January. The filing says the couple separated on 15 December, 2021.

Mr Brin and Ms Shanahan were married in 2018.

The couple’s divorce marks a significant development in the life of one of the world’s wealthiest men, who continues to hold a controlling stake in Google after stepping away from the company’s daily operations in 2019.

The Tesla CEO is the world’s wealthiest person with an estimated fortune of $220bn. Mr Brin ranks as the world’s seventh wealthiest with $107bn, according to Forbes’ rankings.

Court filings do not indicate which assets Mr Brin and Ms Shanahan jointly own or how they will be divided, the details of which “are to be determined.”

“All issues as to the property rights or obligations of the parties will be determined by confidential binding arbitration in accordance with a written agreement between the parties,” according to court filings.

The Independent has requested comment from attorneys for Mr Brin and Ms Shanahan as well as a representative for Mr Musk.

The Wall Street Journal’s report follows several months of public scrutiny into Mr Musk’s personal life as the Tesla CEO jockeyed for control of the social media company Twitter before attempting to pull out of the deal, while his electric vehicle company faces a heightened federal inquiry into its autopilot system, which has been involved in at least 16 crashes that resulted in 15 injuries and one death.

He has denied allegations that he exposed himself to a flight attendant at his aerospace company SpaceX, and Business Insider reported that he had two children in 2021 with an executive at another company he co-founded, Neuralink.

One of his 10 children also has publicly disavowed him. His 18-year-old transgender daughter legally changed her name to disassociate from Mr Musk, according to legal filings that were reported last month.