Who is Nicole Shanahan, Sergey Brin's wife who allegedly had affair with Elon Musk

Published on Jul 25, 2022 04:43 PM IST

Nicole Shanahan is a daughter of Chinese immigrants, and has spoken about her mother, who worked as a maid, and grew up on state assistance.

Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Nicole Shanahan.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Nicole Shanahan.
Written by Kanishka Singharia | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan

The estranged wife of Google co-founder and billionaire Sergey Brin, who allegedly had an affair with Tesla boss Elon Musk, is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and attorney in California.

Shanahan and Brin have been married for over three years. However, in January Brin filed for divorce citing 'irreconcilable differences' and claimed he and Ms Shanahan had been separated since December 15, 2021. Shanahan and Brin signed a prenuptial agreement and are presently discussing the terms of their divorce, in which she is seeking over $1 billion.

Watch: Elon Musk's ‘money doesn’t have power' video goes viral

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Shanahan allegedly had a casual affair with Musk in December, prompting her husband to seek divorce and sever his long-standing relationship with Musk.

However, Tesla's chief on Monday denied a media report that alleged he had an affair with Shanahan. "This is total bs. Sergey and I 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," Musk tweeted, in reply to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Before making headlines for being at the centre of the love triangle between two of the world’s richest men, Shanahan was known for founding ClearAccessIP, a software business that employs artificial intelligence to handle patents. She sold the firm in 2020, the New York Post reported.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Shanahan established her own foundation, Bia-Echo, in 2019 and dedicated $100 million to reproductive longevity (access to medical technology that allow women to have children later in life) and criminal justice reform, among other causes. She also backs left-wing groups and Democratic political candidates.

“I want to get the word out that and assure everyone that I am committed as ever to dedicating my life’s work to social justice, climate solutions and a thoughtful, caring democracy,” Shanahan said in an interview with Puck this month. “And I actually think that as I move forward out of this separation, I feel very optimistic in how I might grow in this role,” she said.

She gave birth to a baby girl in late 2018 – the same year the couple married in a low-key ceremony after nearly two years of dating. They met in 2015 during a yoga retreat. Before dating Brin, Shanahan was married to a financial executive, NY Post reported.

Shanahan is a daughter of Chinese immigrants, and has spoken about her mother, who worked as a maid, and grew up on state assistance. She graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Washington State, where she studied economics, Asian studies, and Mandarin Chinese. She received her law degree from Santa Clara University, where she also spent a semester as an exchange student at the National University of Singapore

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