Elon Musk pushed for action to be taken against The Wall Street Journal this week after the newspaper published a report that alleged Musk had an affair with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Musk “engaged in a brief affair last fall with the wife of Sergey Brin” at the Art Basel event in Miami. Brin, co-founder of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is the world’s eighth richest man, worth nearly $95 billion. The company also owns Android and YouTube.
The alleged affair caused Brin to file for divorce from wife Nicole Shanahan earlier this year and has ended the friendship between the two men, or so the report claimed.
Musk later released a photograph of the two partying together this week, saying, “Nicole and Sergey’s divorce has absolutely nothing to do with me.”
“I am sure both Nicole and Sergey would confirm that,” Musk continued. “I spoke with both Sergey and Nicole about this and they say the story isn’t coming from them, so [it] must be a case of broken telephone, two or three layers removed. We were not romantically involved in any way.”
Shanahan’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, told Page Six this week that the allegations of an affair between Musk and his client were completely false.
“Make no mistake, any suggestion that Nicole had an affair with Elon Musk is not only an outright lie but also defamatory,” he said.
Musk responded to the latest developments by saying that Shanahan should sue The Wall Street Journal because she is not a public figure, therefore she would have an easier time winning in court.
“As a ‘public person,’ standard to win a defamation lawsuit against a news org is almost impossible,” Musk tweeted. “They could say I’m Satan and the ‘source’ is their psychic! Nicole is not a public person, so could win. I hope she sues them. @michaelsiconolf has done so many fake hit pieces.”
“Moreover, I talked to Sergey yesterday and he says neither he nor anyone he knows has talked to WSJ,” Musk added.
Musk strongly denied the story when it was published Sunday afternoon, calling it “total BS.”
“WSJ has run so many bs hit pieces on me and Tesla I’ve lost count! It’s embarrassing for them, frankly,” Musk continued. “They once wrote an article saying FBI was about to arrest me, so I called FBI to ask what’s up and they said WSJ article was total bs. Just more shortseller fud.”
Musk said that “character assassination attacks” on him have reached “a new level this year” but claimed that they were all “nothing-burgers” and that he did not even have enough time to get in trouble.
“WSJ is supposed to have a high standard for journalism and, right now, they are way sub tabloid,” he added. “WSJ should be running stories that actually matter to their readers and have solid factual basis, not third-party random hearsay.”