With Elon Musk, no ‘second of ardour,’ says Sergey Brin’s ex-wife

Nicole Shanahan, the ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, is doubling down on her denial that she and Elon Musk had an affair that led to the 2021 break-up of her marriage.

As a substitute, Shanahan stated in a prolonged interview with Folks that her relationship with the Tesla billionaire was “collegial” in a method that’s typical amongst their social circle of Silicon Valley “thinkers, dreamers and doers.” She stated she primarily sought parental recommendation from Musk, who has Asperger’s syndrome, after her daughter Echo, 4, was identified with autism. She hoped Musk would have insights on one of the best therapy for autism.

“Did Elon and I’ve intercourse, prefer it was a second of ardour, after which it was over? No,” Shanahan, 37, advised Individuals. “Did we’ve got a romantic relationship? No. We didn’t have an affair.”

FILE – Twitter, now X. Corp, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk poses earlier than his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, Might 15, 2023, on the Elysee Palace in Paris. In an interview with CNBC’s David Faber this week, Twitter proprietor Elon Musk stated customers making false claims of a stolen election “can be corrected” on the platform within the lead-up to 2024. (AP Photograph/Michel Euler, Pool) Michel Euler/Related Press

Shanahan stated that she and  Musk merely talked about “how I would take into consideration serving to my daughter together with her autism therapy, given his background with Neuralink,” his neurotechnology firm. She stated, “It was a dialog that was very significant about life and the way individuals present up for each other. To be painted with such a large scarlet letter simply appears so unfair.”

Shanahan, a lawyer, philanthropist and investor from Oakland, recollects how she was painted with the “gold digger” label, following a July 2022 Wall Road Journal story that alleged that she and Musk had an affair in December 2021.

The story stated the affair occurred whereas Shanahan and her billionaire husband have been separated however nonetheless dwelling collectively. The story additionally stated that Brin filed for divorce in early 2022, a number of weeks after studying in regards to the supposed affair.

Shanahan probably would have develop into acquainted with Musk by Brin, whom she married in 2018 after they met at a Lake Tahoe yoga competition in 2014, Individuals reported. Brin was a longtime buddy of Musk’s and an early investor in Tesla, CNN stated. Whereas the Wall Road Journal cited unnamed individuals near Brin’s cut up from Shanahan, she and Musk adamantly denied a sexual relationship.

Predictably, Musk, the longer term proprietor of Twitter, took to the social media platform to concern his denials, writing: “I work loopy hours, so there simply isn’t a lot time for shenanigans.” He additionally insisted that he and Brin have been nonetheless mates by saying that that they had attended a celebration collectively the evening earlier than, CNN reported.

“I’ve solely seen Nicole twice in three years, each occasions with many different individuals round. Nothing romantic,” Musk tweeted.

Shanahan advised Individuals how the Wall Road Journal story made her a sudden superstar and the item of world fascination, in addition to derision. By a consultant, she denied the affair allegation and requested the Journal to not publish the story, she says.

“I used to be going by rather a lot in my private life,” she advised Individuals. Her marriage was ending, and he or she was saying goodbye to her two stepchildren, Chloe and Benji — Brin’s youngsters together with his first spouse Anne Wojcicki, the CEO of 23andMe.

“I’m advised you’re not alleged to learn the feedback and tweets, however I did,” Shanahan stated. “I used to be actually, truthfully, intrigued by the completely different interpretations individuals have been having. It appeared to me that misogynists and feminists have been having very completely different opinions on the story and the way they have been deciphering it. The Wall Road Journal actually centered on Sergey and Elon and I used to be virtually an irrelevant character. However lots of the different retailers I seen have been actually making an attempt to determine who I used to be and the way somebody like me may find yourself in a state of affairs like this.”

Shanahan ended up on this specific state of affairs after overcoming a poor, deprived childhood. She grew up in Oakland with a father who suffered from bipolar dysfunction and schizophrenia, whereas her Chinese language immigrant mom struggled to make ends meet earlier than changing into an accountant, Individuals reported. “I had a really arduous childhood with numerous disappointment, worry and instability,” Shanahan advised Individuals about her father’s habits. “At occasions there was violence.”

Shanahan stated she labored arduous to get into faculty, specializing in Asian research on the College of Puget Sound. She graduated from the Santa Clara College College of Legislation in 2014 and earned a fellowship at CodeX, the Stanford Heart for Authorized Informatics.

That’s the yr she met Brin. She advised Folks that their romance blossomed as they frolicked across the Stanford campus, the place he had been a pupil and “the place he created Google with Larry Web page.”

“There was a lot innovation taking place within the Valley,” Shanahan stated in regards to the inspiring vitality across the tech business in 2014 to 2016. Throughout these years, she stated, Silicon Valley “was the preferred place to be on the planet should you have been an bold younger particular person in search of to alter the world for the higher. I look again at the moment with a lot nostalgia. ”

However marrying Brin didn’t make her joyful as a result of she felt her life had develop into “insulated.” She stated it was arduous to remain “grounded” whereas dwelling a lifetime of “mega-wealth.”

“After I was dwelling as a spouse of a billionaire, I used to be not one of the best model of myself,” Shanahan advised Individuals. “I felt conflicted day-after-day, like I couldn’t entry the factor that made me what I’m.”

Since her divorce, Shanahan advised Individuals she has begun to “do actual work” by managing a enterprise capital fund that invests in “Earth-conscious startups” and by overseeing her Bia-Echo Basis, for which she spends her days researching and investing in local weather options, reproductive well being, social justice and a treatment for autism.

Shanahan additionally advised Individuals how she has discovered love with Jacob Strumwasser, a “reformed Wall Road man” and businessman whom she met on the Burning Man competition in Nevada. With their shared love of browsing, the couple celebrated their dedication to one another with a “love ceremony” that occurred on a favourite Southern California seashore. “It’s beautiful to be seen for who I’m,” Shanahan stated.

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