Wall Street Journal defends editor under attack from Elon Musk over allegations of affair with Sergey Brin’s ex-wife

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The Wall Street Journal says Elon Musk’s online attacks against investigative editor Michael Seconolfi are ‘unjustified and unfounded’ after the newspaper claimed that Musk had an affair with the then-Google founder’s wife.

A Wall Street Journal spokesperson told DailyMail.com that they are “confident of our sources and stand by our reporting.” The Wall Street Journal also noted that Siconolfi was not “part of the editorial team” for the Grind and Glazer story.

Tesla CEO Siconolfi and the newspaper were summoned on Twitter after publishing a recent article claiming he is having an affair with Nicole Shanahan, the estranged wife of Google co-founder, Sergey Brin.

The “fake piece” – as Musk called it – argued that the alleged affair served as the catalyst for Shanahan and Brin’s divorce.

It’s unclear why Musk, 51, has publicly criticized Seconolvy, with journalists Kristen Grind and Emily Glazer named as the article’s sole authors.

Tesla CEO Siconolfi (pictured) and the newspaper recalled on Twitter after publishing a recent article claiming he was having an affair with Nicole Shanahan, the estranged wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

The Wall Street Journal says Elon Musk (left)’s online attacks against investigative editor Michael Sekonolfi (right) are “unwarranted and baseless”. Tesla CEO Siconolfi and the newspaper called out over an article claiming he had an affair with Nicole Shanahan, the estranged wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

It's unclear why Musk, 51, has publicly criticized Seconolvy, with journalists Kristen Grind (pictured) and Emily Glazer named as authors in the article.

Wall Street Journal reporter Emily Glazer

It’s unclear why Musk, 51, has publicly criticized Seconolvy, with reporters Kristen Grind (left) and Emily Glazer (right) named as authors in the article.

The Wall Street Journal published a story entitled Elon Musk’s friendship with Sergey Brin was torn by an alleged case on Monday, alleging that the billionaire was romantically involved with Shanahan, 33, at an art event in Miami Beach last December.

The story, which cited sources “informed” of the alleged affair, claimed that there was “rising tension” between Musk and Brin – who had been friends for many years.

Wall Street Journal sources also claimed that Musk “fallen on one knee” in front of Bryn, 48, at a party earlier this year to apologize for the affair and beg for forgiveness.

Just hours after posting, Musk tweeted a A picture of him partying with Brin in an attempt to refute the newspaper’s claim.

In response to Siconolfi’s post, tagging Grind and Glazer, Musk captioned the photo with an emoji depicting long pants and fire in a playful nod to childishness saying “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

Musk continued to show his aggravation with his investigative editor on Monday, tweeting that he was trying to avoid a ‘supernova’ level of interest in him in the wake of rumors about the alleged case.

The Wall Street Journal published a story titled Elon Musk's friendship with Sergey Brin was torn by an alleged case on Monday, alleging that Musk was involved with Shanahan, 33, at an art event in Miami Beach last December.  Nicole Shanahan and Sergey Brin pictured in November 2019

The Wall Street Journal published a story entitled Elon Musk’s friendship with Sergey Brin was torn by an alleged case on Monday, alleging that Musk was involved with Shanahan, 33, at an art event in Miami Beach last December. Nicole Shanahan and Sergey Brin pictured in November 2019

Wall Street Journal editor Michael Sekonolfi tweeted a link to the article on Monday

Wall Street Journal editor Michael Sekonolfi tweeted a link to the article on Monday

Elon Musk tweeted this photo in response to WSJ Editor Michael Siconolfi on Monday after the newspaper claimed that he and Brin had not been speaking due to the alleged affair.

Elon Musk tweeted this photo in response to WSJ Editor Michael Siconolfi on Monday after the newspaper claimed that he and Brin had not been speaking due to the alleged affair.

Musk continued to show his aggravation with his investigative editor on Monday, tweeting that he was trying to avoid a 'supernova' level of interest in him in the wake of rumors about the alleged case.

Musk continued to show his aggravation with his investigative editor on Monday, tweeting that he was trying to avoid a ‘supernova’ level of interest in him in the wake of rumors about the alleged case.

The Wall Street Journal reiterated Friday that it stands by its story, with a spokesperson for the newspaper telling DailyMail.com: “We are confident in our sources, and we stand by our reporting.”

The recent attacks on Michael Sekonolfi are unwarranted and unfounded. In an additional statement, the newspaper added that Mike is a well-known and widely respected editor and reporter in our industry.

He has overseen a wide range of influential stories with integrity and high standards for The Wall Street Journal over many decades. For the record, Mike was not part of the editing team for this story.

The statement came after Shanahan’s lawyer told DailyMail.com exclusively that she was not in a relationship with the Tesla founder – calling it an “outright lie.”

“Make no mistake, any suggestion that Nicole had an affair with Elon Musk is not only outright false but defamatory,” said Brian Friedman.

Shanahan is a Stanford-educated lawyer who works for Bio-Echa, an investment firm that pours money into projects such as promoting “reproductive longevity.”

Sergey Brin was seen snatching a mysterious blonde away in a Tesla Thursday night after a relaxing date in Malibu, California

Sergey Brin was seen snatching a mysterious blonde away in a Tesla Thursday night after a relaxing date in Malibu, California

Brin drove himself and his mysterious blonde woman in a Tesla Model 3, valued at $62,990 for a Performance Model, away from the restaurant Thursday night.

Brin drove himself and his mysterious blonde woman in a Tesla Model 3, valued at $62,990 for a Performance Model, away from the restaurant Thursday night.

Musk tweeted on Wednesday that Shanahan should sue the Wall Street Journal over their story

Musk tweeted on Wednesday that Shanahan should sue the Wall Street Journal over their story

Two hours later, Musk continued his criticism, adding that “the media is a click-searching machine that dresses up as a truth-seeking machine” and said he spoke to Brin, who confirmed he had not spoken to the Wall Street Journal.

Musk tweeted Wednesday that Shanahan should sue the Wall Street Journal over their story.

He said that as a “public person,” he himself would not be able to win a defamation lawsuit against a news organization, but Shanahan should file a lawsuit.

“As a public person,” he wrote, “the standard of winning a defamation lawsuit against a news organization is almost impossible.” They could say I’m a demon and the “source” is a psychic for them! Nicole is not a public figure, so she can win. I hope you sue them.

then He added a knockout punch to Siconolfi, writing that he “did a lot of fake cuts.”

Two hours later, Musk continued his criticism, adding that “the media is a click-searching machine that dresses up as a truth-seeking machine” and said he had spoken to Brin, who confirmed he had not spoken to the Wall Street Journal.

Brian and Shanahan were married for four years before he filed for divorce in January, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for their separation. Procedures are currently still in progress.

When the divorce proceedings began, Shanahan said: “I hope and Sergey will move forward with dignity, honesty and harmony for the sake of our child. And we both work for it.

The couple share a four-year-old daughter.

Musk with Brin (far right) in the early 2000s. The Wall Street Journal claims the ‘affair’ led to an abrupt end to Prins’ marriage and friendship with Musk.

Sergey Brin and Nicole Shanahan appear on Lake Como in July of last year. ‘Sergey and I hope to move forward with dignity, honesty and harmony for the sake of our child,’ she said in January when their divorce was announced. And we are working to make it happen.”

“Make no mistake, any suggestion that Nicole was having an affair with Elon Musk is not only outright false but defamatory,” Nicole Shanahan (pictured in September 2021) told DailyMail.com in an exclusive statement.

The WSJ article also claimed that Brin was selling all of his interests in Musk’s companies.

The pair have been friends for years, giving Brian Musk $500,000 in 2008 to help him fund Tesla at the height of the global financial meltdown.

Musk also loaned a Google Party Plane to attend the wedding of Tesla CEO Talulah Riley in 2010.

Brin is the eighth richest man in the world with a net worth of $95 billion.

He is said to have had multiple interests in Musk’s many businesses, all of which he ordered his associates to sell.

Brin has yet to comment on the magazine’s allegations, but Musk has dismissed the allegations in a frenzy on Twitter accusing the newspaper – owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp – of running ‘success articles’ against him throughout the year.

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