Elon Musk has denied a Wall Street Journal story that he had an affair with Nicole Shanahan, the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Shanahan has also proclaimed the article fake. Musk now says he hopes Shanahan sues the site for defamation.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Musk had a “brief affair” with Shanahan in early December. According to the WSJ story, which cites anonymous persons “familiar with the matter,” Brin filed for divorce from Shanahan, thus ending their friendship. Musk, who is presently embroiled in a legal fight with Twitter over his effort to terminate his $44 billion acquisition agreement, fiercely denied the WSJ report immediately after it was published.
Shanahan, via her lawyer Bryan Freedman, also refuted the Journal report. “Make no mistake, any suggestion that Nicole had an affair with Elon Musk is not only an outright lie but also defamatory,” Freedman told the Daily Mail and the New York Post.
A Wall Street Journal spokesperson told Variety, “We are confident in our sourcing, and we stand by our reporting.” Musk tweeted on Wednesday that his status as a “public person” would make winning a defamation case against a news organization “almost impossible.”
“As a “public person,” standard to win a defamation lawsuit against a news org is almost impossible. 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.”
Musk slammed the Journal piece as driven by a desire for page views, saying in a post on Wednesday, “The media is a click-seeking machine dressed as a truth-seeking machine.” The Journal report revealed their side of the story as well.
“At a party earlier this year, Mr. Musk dropped to one knee in front of Mr. Brin and apologized profusely for the transgression, begging for forgiveness, according to people with knowledge of the incident. Mr. Brin acknowledged the apology, but still isn’t speaking regularly to Mr. Musk, those people said.”
Let’s wait and see what happens. To get the latest updates, keep an eye on Thirsty.
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