Sergey Brin and Elon Musk are Silicon Valley freaks

Sergey Brin and Elon Musk are Silicon Valley freaks

I’m sorry for what I’m about to do here, but let’s talk about some divorced men. I think Sergey Brin is trying to smear his ex-wife and I think he’s using his history with Elon Musk to do that.

Musk reportedly had an affair with Brin’s wife, which led to their divorce. (ALLEGED.) Then, at a party, Musk fell to his knees and asked for Brin’s forgiveness, “according to people with knowledge of the incident.” The Wall Street Journal write. What a story!

Except: I think this is weird. How many people? Two sources are different from 10 sources on this, or 30, you know? And what kind of knowledge? Were they there? I understand that you want to protect your sources, absolutely, but I need more context around this to understand how seriously you should take it. Can I be sure Musk, who is often late to trends, wasn’t just trying to Ice Brin?

I ask these pointed questions because I notice that Brin is still taking it with his soon-to-be ex-wife Nicole Shanahan in court. Brin’s lawyers claim she is asking for too much – a rumored $1 billion, according to them WSJ. I do not know how WSJ picked up this story, but I think it’s more likely to benefit him than her. If he proves that she is unfaithful, he gets to keep more of his money. And if she’s afraid of more news of their marriage getting into the papers, she might be more likely to settle quickly.

Shanahan has denied an affair with Musk, and an anonymous source close to her has said so New York Post that she is a “pawn” in the “billionaire playboy game”. I’m a bit skeptical about anonymous reporting from one source, though NYP rarely misses in celebrity coverage, possibly due to the extremely strong relationship with publicists. (Page Six isn’t what it used to be, but it’s still formidable.)

If Brin’s people are really behind the leak, it makes Musk’s reaction funnier. says Musk he’s seen Shanahan twice in the past three years — and never alone. “Haven’t even had sex in ages (sigh),” he adds. After all, he may have been refused entry to a sex club in Berlin last April.

To prove that things are copacetic between him and Brin, Musk posted a photo of them at the same party in response to a The Wall Street Journal editor who had tweeted the story. A strange choice. I remember an earlier photo Musk had been asked about: one of him with Ghislaine Maxwell, the right-hand man of Jeffrey Epstein who received a 20-year sentence for sex trafficking. Musk says she “photobombed” him.

It’s a bit strange to deny that a photograph is proof of a friendship, then post a photograph as proof of a friendship. Musk was right about the Maxwell photo denial: a photo of two people at the same party doesn’t mean much.

Look at the picture with Brin: Musk in the foreground; Brin in the background, not making eye contact with the camera, possibly not even aware he was being photographed. The two are under a tent, and Brin is holding a plastic cup – a party of some sort. There are two other people in the picture who appear to be either children or very short adults. One is wearing Overwatch cosplay. I’ve spent too much time trying to identify the trees in the background to figure out a location. (Yes, I emailed experts. They said the trees were too low resolution to identify.)

It’s certainly proof that Musk and Brin were at the same party, which Musk says they were on the afternoon of Sunday 24 July. If it is proof of friendship is harder to say.

As for the date and location: according to the Twitter account tracking the movements, Musk’s jet flew into San Jose’s airport on July 23 and left on the evening of July 24. In response to Musk’s tweet, a chef named Andrew Gruel (cool aptonym, very Dickens!) says that he could testify about Musk and Brin attending the party together, where they were served lobster deviled eggs. Gruel is based in Huntington Beach, Calif., where he left the patio of one of his restaurants open during Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order, perhaps a point of common ground with Musk.

“Nicole and Sergey’s divorce has absolutely nothing to do with me,” Musk emailed New York Post. (This is also, for what it’s worth, the second celebrity divorce in which Musk has been accused of domestic abuse; Johnny Depp claimed that Musk began a relationship with his now ex-wife, Amber Heard, a month after Depp and Heard were married. .)

Brin invested at least $500,000 in Tesla, according to Tim Higgins’ book Power Play. Brin may have invested an unknown amount in 2006, according to Insider. According to the latter WSJ story, Brin “has ordered his financial advisers to sell their personal investments in Mr. Musk’s companies,” though the story did not specify the size of the investments or whether any sales had occurred.

I think I know why! Because all of these investments, if sold, will be part of the negotiations that Brin and Shanahan are engaged in surrounding their divorce. The point of WSJ the story is smearing Shanahan, not telling her where all the money is! Brin may still be partying with Musk, but it seems his lawyers hung Musk out to dry just to get to Shanahan.

Why the aggression against Musk? They have history. It is possible that Musk has given the name “Autopilot” from Google in the first place. Apparently, Larry Page and Brin considered buying Tesla while leaving Musk in charge, according to Ashlee Vance’s biography of Musk. This did not happen, mainly due to Musk’s PT Barnum-like abilities to advertise. “With the benefit of hindsight, it’s clear that Musk — at the very least — was either inspired or afraid” of self-driving cars, wrote Edward Niedermeyer, another Musk biographer.

In 2018, before Brin left Google, it was clear that there was rivalry between Tesla and Google’s self-driving car division, Waymo. In January 2021, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said, “To us, Tesla is not a competitor at all.” Waymo even dropped the term “self-driving” to refer to its autonomous vehicles in 2021, saying, “It may seem like a small change, but it’s important, because precision in language is important and can save lives.” This seems like a dig at Tesla, which calls its driver assistance program “full self-driving.”

Now, to be clear, the majority of the Waymo / Tesla beef started after Brin left Google. And Brin and Musk definitely seem to be at the same party. But I have to say – unless Brin and Musk agreed to leak WSJ story together to screw Shanahan as part of a tech-bro conspiracy – they seem much more like frenemies, especially since Brin has not said anything publicly to clarify this.

Tech bro frenemies are a staple in Silicon Valley. Musk’s long relationship with Peter Thiel, who produced the coup at PayPal that pushed Musk out is a good example. All these guys need each other and maybe even a little low-key hate each other. Seems stressful! But it looks like everyone will get what they need here, except possibly Shanahan, who is also very Silicon Valley.

As for Musk’s alasis me tweets About attention: lol, lmao. His whole game with retail shareholders is about grabbing attention. My guy loves it! Remember McLaren? Remember the song “Don’t Doubt ur Vibe?” The fake robot? Musk seems like an obvious student of NASA scientist (and Nazi) Wernher von Braun, and Twitter is where he does his version of “Man Will Conquer Space Soon.” He needs attention. After all, isn’t that what he buys Twitter for?

Which could mean that Brin and Musk are still friends after all. I’m pretty sure Musk can’t tell the difference between good attention and bad attention. As long as he is the center of attention, he is happy – because attention sells Teslas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.