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Elon Musk and Sergey Brin’s friendship strained due to an alleged affair.

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According to those acquainted with the situation, Elon Musk briefly had an affair with Sergey Brin’s wife in the fall of last year, which led to the Google co-founder filing for divorce early this year and ruining their friendship.

Their falling out is only one of several personal problems Mr. Musk has had to deal with while juggling corporate difficulties including production delays at Tesla Inc. TSLA 0.20 percent and a legal battle over his wish to renounce his $44 billion bid for Twitter Inc.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Mr. Brin is ranked eighth globally with $95 billion, while Mr. Musk is ranked first with an estimated fortune of $240 billion. Among the most well-known businessmen in the country, Mr. Brin and Mr. Musk were longstanding friends. According to Mr. Musk, he used to frequently crash at Mr. Brin’s home in Silicon Valley for years.

While Tesla was trying to raise production during the 2008 financial crisis, Mr. Brin gave Mr. Musk around $500,000 for the company. Mr. Musk gifted one of Tesla’s first all-electric sport utility cars to Mr. Brin in 2015.

According to the persons familiar with the situation, there has been an increase in friction between the two men and their teams in recent months. Some of those sources claimed that Mr. Brin had instructed his financial advisors to sell his individual holdings in Mr. Musk’s enterprises. It was impossible to determine the size of those investments or whether any transactions had taken place.

According to documents submitted to Santa Clara County Superior Court, Mr. Brin filed for divorce from Nicole Shanahan in January of this year, citing “irreconcilable disagreements.” According to those persons, Mr. Brin filed for divorce many weeks after learning about the brief relationship.

According to a close friend of Ms. Shanahan, Mr. Brin and his wife were divorced but still cohabitating at the time of the alleged relationship in early December. Mr. Brin listed December 15, 2021 as the date of the couple’s separation in the divorce petition.

Mr. Brin’s attorney declined to comment. A statement from Mr. Musk was not forthcoming. Requests for response from Ms. Shanahan’s spokesman, who oversees a foundation devoted to reproductive rights, went unanswered as well.

Ms. Shanahan discussed the divorce filing in an early this month interview with the news outlet Puck, saying: “I wish for Sergey and I to move on with dignity, honesty, and peace for the sake of our child. And that’s something we’re both aiming for.

The last two months have seen a lot of media coverage of Mr. Musk’s personal life. One of his ten children has publicly disavowed him, and he has been accused of exposing himself to a flight attendant at his aerospace company, SpaceX, which he has denied. Business Insider also reported that he had two children late last year with a female executive at another company he co-founded, Neuralink.

Earlier this month, Mr. Musk attempted to back out of a deal to purchase Twitter, claiming the business hadn’t given him the information he needed to gauge the prevalence of spam or phoney accounts. Twitter claimed to have “come up trumps” to offer the details. It filed a lawsuit against Mr. Musk to compel him to uphold the agreement, and a Delaware court authorised an accelerated trial for October.

According to a source acquainted with their relationship, Mr. Brin and Ms. Shanahan, his wife of nearly four years, met at the yoga retreat Wanderlust around seven years ago. Both Mr. Brin and Ms. Shanahan had previously been married, Ms. Shanahan to a finance executive and Ms. Brin to Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of the genomics startup 23andMe Inc. Two kids were born to Mr. Brin and Ms. Wojcicki.

According to sources close with their relationship, Mr. Brin and Ms. Shanahan already had marital issues in the fall of 2021, mostly because to Covid pandemic shutdowns and the upbringing of their 3-year-old daughter.

According to those persons, Mr. Musk and the liaison met during Miami’s Art Basel event in early December 2021. Every year, the multiday Art Basel festival attracts affluent visitors from all around the world.

According to persons with knowledge of the event, at a party earlier this year, Mr. Musk got down on one knee in front of Mr. Brin and apologised profusely for the offence before pleading for forgiveness. According to those sources, Mr. Brin apologised but hasn’t been in frequent contact with Mr. Musk.

The alleged liaison took place after Mr. Musk’s on-again, off-again relationship with singer Grimes ended in September. In December 2021, Mr. Musk and Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, had a daughter via surrogate. Also born last fall were Mr. Musk’s twins with Shivon Zilis, an executive at Neuralink.

According to those familiar with the proceedings, Ms. Shanahan is reportedly demanding more than $1 billion from Mr. Brin in their current divorce mediation. The two sides have not yet reached an agreement, according to the people, with Mr. Brin’s side asserting that Ms. Shanahan is demanding far more than what her prenuptial agreement authorises her to.

According to the sources, Ms. Shanahan’s side claims that her demand represents a tiny portion of Mr. Brin’s $95 billion fortune and that she was forced to sign the prenuptial contract while she was still pregnant.

Together with Larry Page, Mr. Brin co-founded Google, now a division of Alphabet Inc., GOOG -5.81 percent, in 1998, and contributed to its development into one of the most valuable businesses in the world. In 2019, he and Mr. Page left their positions as Alphabet’s executives, but they both still serve on the board. According to many who know him, he has been actively interested in fitness activities ever since, even trying to study a variety of Olympic sports at one point.

He is connected to an airship firm called LTA Research and Exploration and heads a $4.4 billion family foundation that has given to causes including Parkinson’s research and education. A physics textbook is now being written by him.

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