Elon Musk encouraged Sergey Brin’s wife to sue The Wall Street Journal for defamation Wednesday after the newspaper published a story claiming the Tesla mogul had an affair with the Google co-founder’s estranged spouse.

Musk, the world’s richest person with an estimated net worth of $219 billion, said he considered suing the Journal himself over the article linking him to Nicole Shanahan, but ultimately decided that it would be fruitless.

“As a ‘public person,’ standard to win a defamation lawsuit against a news org is almost impossible,” Musk began his Wednesday tweetstorm.

“They could say I’m Satan and the ‘source’ is their psychic!”

Musk, who had vowed to do less tweeting after the Journal story went viral, then mused that Brin’s estranged wife would stand a much better chance in court.

“Nicole is not a public person, so [she] could win,” Musk tweeted.

“I hope she sues them.”

Musk then singled out the Journal’s investigations editor, Michael Siconolfi, for doing “so many fake hit pieces.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is urging Nicole Shanahan, the estranged wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, to sue The Wall Street Journal for defamation.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is urging Nicole Shanahan, the estranged wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, to sue The Wall Street Journal for defamation.
AFP via Getty Images

The Tesla chief also revealed on Wednesday that he spoke to Brin on Tuesday and “he says neither he nor anyone he knows has talked to WSJ.”

The Post has reached out to the Journal seeking comment. The Journal is owned by The Post’s parent company, News Corp.

Both Musk and Shanahan, through her lawyer, have denied the Journal story, which claimed that they had an affair that caused a “rupture” between the Tesla CEO and Brin.

The Wall Street Journal says it stands by its claim that Elon Musk had an affair with Google co-founder Sergey Brin's estranged wife, Nicole Shanahan.
The Wall Street Journal says it stands by its claim that Elon Musk had an affair with Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s estranged wife, Nicole Shanahan.
Getty Images for Breakthrough P

“Make no mistake, any suggestion that Nicole [Shanahan] had an affair with Elon Musk is not only an outright lie but also defamatory,” Bryan Freedman, a Los Angeles-based attorney representing Shanahan, said in a statement to The Post.

The alleged affair, which took place while Brin, 48, and Shanahan, 33, were separated last fall, also spurred the Google co-founder to begin divorce proceedings, according to the Journal.

Musk sent The Post an image showing him and Brin, the seventh richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $107 billion, at a recent party. Musk said that the image was taken the day before the Journal published its story.

Musk told The Post that the Journal’s report which claimed that he dropped down on his knees and begged Brin for forgiveness is false.

He also dismissed any suggestion of an affair, tweeting that he hasn’t “had sex in ages.”

Musk provided The Post with a photo he says was taken the day before the Journal ran its story. The photo shows Musk and Brin at a party -- refuting claims that the two were no longer friends.
Musk provided The Post with a photo he says was taken the day before the Journal ran its story. The photo shows Musk and Brin at a party — refuting claims that the two were no longer friends.

Despite Musk’s denials, the Journal insists the story is true.

“We are confident in our sourcing, and we stand by our reporting,” the Journal said in a statement on Musk’s denials.

Musk on Tuesday took to Twitter to complain about the press and the attention that his alleged exploits have been receiving.

“The amount of attention on me has gone supernova, which super sucks,” Musk tweeted on Monday evening. “Unfortunately, even trivial articles about me generate a lot of clicks :(.”

“Will try my best to be heads down focused on doing useful things for civilization,” Musk added.

The Wall Street Journal is a daily broadsheet owned by The Post's corporate parent, News Corp.
The Wall Street Journal is a daily broadsheet owned by The Post’s corporate parent, News Corp.
Christopher Sadowski

Musk has been involved in plenty of drama that has played out in public view in recent months.

He is being sued by Twitter after he backed out of an agreement to buy the San Francisco-based social media company for $44 billion.

A five-day trial is scheduled to begin in Delaware Chancery Court in October.





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Tyler Cowan