Who is Nicole Shanahan? How stunning entrepreneur sparked bizarre billionaire sex scandal
Elon Musk allegedly had an affair with Nicole Shanahan, wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, in December last year. The alleged affair led to the couple, who share a three-year-old daughter, filing for divorce earlier this year, citing “irreconcilable differences,” as per the reports.
According to Wall Street Journal, Musk, 51, and Brin, 48, the billionaires, were long-time friends where Musk has said that for years he regularly crashed at Brin’s house in Silicon Valley. Brin, who is the world’s eighth-richest person, even helped Musk financially with $500k during the economic crisis in 2008. And then in 2015, Musk gave the Google co-founder, one of Tesla’s first all-electric sport-utility vehicles. However, reports claim that Musk's brief affair with Shanahan ended the long-standing friendship between the two billionaires and Brin instructing his financial advisers to sell his investments in the Tesla CEO's various businesses. This also led Brin to file for divorce in January of this year, where he stated that the pair had been separated since December 15.
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As per reports, Musk and Shanahan's alleged affair took place at the Art Basel event in Miami, between December 2 and 4, when Musk was on a break from his relationship with singer Grimes. During this time, Shanahan was separated but still living with Brin.
Who is Nicole Shanahan?
Shanahan is a California-based attorney and founder of Bia-Echo Foundation, started in 2019. According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the 33-year-old, who also founded ClearAccessIP, a patent-valuation and management company, gave $100 million to social programs focused on efforts like improving the criminal justice system and climate change. The funding also supports fertility later in life, a topic she has firsthand experience with after struggling to become pregnant. She also spoke about the struggle at the launch of the Center for Female Reproductive Longevity and Equality in 2019. "Like many women who are not quite ready to start a family in their early 30s, I decided, or so I thought at the time, to take matters into my own hands and freeze embryos. However, after three failed attempts at embryo-making and three dozen visits to in vitro fertilization clinics around the Bay Area, I learned that I was not nearly as unshakable as I thought I was,' she was quoted as saying by Page Six.
According to the Stanford Law directory, Shanahan is also an academic fellow of CodeX, the Stanford Center of Legal Informatics, where she works on a project that applies data science to the prosecutorial process.
Commenting on her divorce with Brin, whom she met in 2015 after being married to a finance executive, she told Puck News, "I hope for Sergey and I to move forward with dignity, honesty and harmony for the sake of our child. And we are both working towards that."