Amid his legal tussle with microblogging giant Twitter Inc., Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, who never stays out of the news, has stirred another controversy with a report saying he engaged in a brief affair with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Nicole Shanahan.
This led Brin, who up until then was reportedly a close friend of Musk, file for divorce with Shanahan in January this year. This subsequently also ended Brin’s friendship with the Tesla CEO, reports a global business news daily, citing people familiar with the matter.
Elon Musk, however, has outrightly rejected the claim, saying he and Sergey are friends and were at a party together last night. "I’ve only seen Nicole twice in three years, both times with many other people around. Nothing romantic," he clarified.
Both Musk and Brin top the chart in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with Musk holding the top spot with an estimated net worth of $240 billion and Brin ranking 8th at $95 billion.
In the past, Brin had reportedly also provided $500,000 to Musk amid the downtime of Tesla during the 2008 financial crisis. However, as the friendship fell apart recently, Brin sold personal investments in the companies owned by Musk.
Over the past few months, Musk has been in news over happenings in his personal life. A report recently said the billionaire paid about $2,50,000 to settle a sexual misconduct case filed against him by a flight attendant in 2018, his company Tesla denied those reports.
In another news, it was reported that Musk had twins last year with one of his top executives, Shivon Zilis, at his company Neuralink. The company focuses on building brain-computer interface technology.
In response to this report, Musk reported that he was doing everything possible to "help the underpopulation crisis".
He tweeted: “Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis. A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilisation faces by far." It was followed by “mark my words, they are sadly true.”
If that's not enough, it was reported last month that one of the 10 children, Xavier Alexander Musk, of the tech mogul had decided to disown him. The transgender daughter of Musk said she decided to disown her father as she does not want to be associated with him in any way.
Apart from this, he also created controversy by backing out from a mega $44 billion deal to buy Twitter. On April 25, 2022, Musk, acting through and with his solely-owned entities, parent company X Holdings I, Inc. and acquisition subsidiary X Holdings II, Inc., agreed to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, for a total of about $44 billion. However, on July 8 Musk ended the $44-billion deal abruptly, accusing Twitter of failing to provide information on bot accounts.
The company has now sued Musk in Delaware Chancery Court. It has also won the first major battle against him by succeeding in persuading the court to start an early trial in the takeover deal case. The Delaware judge last week ruled in favour of Twitter by choosing a trial date closer to the one proposed by it i.e. October, not in February, which was requested by Musk.