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Elon Musk Fires Back Against Media Accusing Him of Affair with Friend's Wife. "They Could Say I'm Satan."

This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Tesla founder and potential Twitter ghoster Elon Musk had had an affair with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, which understandably had severed the two tech titans' friendship. Musk not only strongly denied the affair (adding perhaps excessive confession that he hadn't "had sex in ages."), but he used Twitter to fire back at the media. Here's what he wrote.

Media: Alleged "Liaison"

Sergey Brin
Wikimedia Commons/Steve Jurvetson

The article, written by WSJ reporters Kirsten Grind and Emily Glazer, claimed that Musk had a "liaison" with Brin's wife, Nicole Shanahan, last December, at a time when the couple was separated and a month before Brin filed for divorce. Among other details, the article reported that Musk had even kneeled at the feet of Brin, where he "apologized profusely for the transgression, begging for forgiveness," but the two were not on speaking terms.

Musk: "Total BS"

Elon Musk and Twitter logo background.

"This is total bs," Musk tweeted after the article was published. "Sergey and I are friends and were at a party together last night!" He said he'd only seen Ms. Shanahan twice in three years in a non-romantic context and with other people around.

He issued another tweet claiming the WSJ reporters' "pants were on fire," accompanied by a photo of himself and Brin at a social event. 

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Months of Bad PR For Musk

The sign on Twitter headquarters.

Recent weeks haven't supplied a great press run for Musk. As the WSJ article stated, "Over the past two months, Mr. Musk's personal life has drawn considerable attention. He has been accused of exposing himself to a flight attendant at his aerospace company, SpaceX, which he has denied; the publication Business Insider reported he had two children late last year with a female executive at another company he co-founded, Neuralink; and one of his 10 children has publicly disavowed him." And Musk has controversially backed out a deal to buy Twitter.

Musk Says the Media is "A Click-Seeking Machine"

business woman reading Financial Times newspaper on kitchen counter with Elon Musk headline smiling and text Is bitcoin going mainstream.

On Wednesday, Musk spent some time on Twitter firing back at the media in general. "The media is a click-seeking machine dressed up as a truth-seeking machine," he tweeted.

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"They Could Say I'm Satan"

Elon Musk

"Make no mistake, any suggestion that Nicole had an affair with Elon Musk is not only an outright lie but also defamatory," a lawyer for Shanahan told the Daily Mail. At the same time, the Wall Street Journal said, "We are confident in our sourcing, and we stand by our reporting."

Wednesday on Twitter, in response to a suggestion that he sue, Musk tweeted, "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."

He added: "Moreover, I talked to Sergey yesterday and he says neither he nor anyone he knows has talked to WSJ."

The controversy seemed to have Musk in a contemplative mood that night. "Much harder to make friends than enemies," he tweeted. "My skill at the latter is improving."

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a seasoned writer and editor with a passion for helping people make life-improving decisions. Read more
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