Google co-founder Sergey Brin has filed for divorce from his wife of four years, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ in court papers, which also reveal that the pair have been separated since December.
The world’s seventh richest man, who is worth $93 billion, secretly filed for divorce from lawyer and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan back in January, according to Insider, which reports that papers submitted by the billionaire businessman state that details of the couple’s assets and how they will be split ‘are to be determined’.
The 48-year-old cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the reason for the split, while noting that he and Shanahan, whom he secretly wed in November 2018, have been separated since December 15.
Their divorce news comes just days after it was revealed that Brin had purchased a new home – a sprawling $13.5 million Malibu mansion once owned by popstar Pink.
Brin and Shanahan share a daughter, who was born in 2018, and the Google founder has asked to share custody of her as part of the divorce arrangements, which they are fighting to keep private out of fear that their daughter will be put at risk of ‘harassment’ or ‘kidnapping’.
However he has not asked Shanahan for child support and has requested that she do not receive any from him in the future.
According to Insider, Brin and Shanahan are intent on keeping the details of their divorce hidden from the public, with the outlet reporting that they are fighting to keep many details of the legal proceedings sealed, citing the tech mogul’s status as ‘one of the wealthiest and most famous technology entrepreneurs in the world’ as being behind the need for privacy.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin – who has a net worth of $93 billion and is the seventh richest man in the world – has filed for divorce from wife Nicole Shanahan (seen in 2018)
Brin, 48, is understood to have quietly filed divorce papers in January, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ and revealing that the couple have been separated since December 2021
The documents add that the couple fear for the safety of their daughter, who they claim could be put at risk of ‘kidnapping’ or ‘harassment’ if details of their divorce and custody battle are made public.
‘Petitioner is a co-founder of Google and one of the wealthiest and most famous technology entrepreneurs in the world,’ the outlet states the papers – which were filed by Brin’s layers – say. ‘Because of the high-profile nature of their relationship, there is likely to be significant public interest in their dissolution and child custody issues.
‘Of great concern is that such publicity puts their minor child at risk of danger, harassment, and even kidnapping, if the specifics of their day-to-day whereabouts are exposed to the public.’
The couple are shelling out for a private judge to oversee their divorce in a bid to keep the details closely guarded, with Insider reporting that they are paying $950 an hour to employ the judge, as well as an additional $300 an hour for the judge’s assistant.
While costly, the use of a private judge can also help speed up divorce proceedings, which can take months, if not years, when handled by the public court system.
The arrangement is one that Brin is well-versed in; the Stanford-educated tech mogul also employed a private judge for his first divorce from entrepreneur Anne Wojcicki, with whom he shares two children, in 2015.
Most of the details of the former couple’s divorce, which came two years after the pair split when Wojcick discovered illicit email exchanges between Brin and a young Google employee named Amanda Rosenberg, remain under wraps.
The Google co-founder is no doubt hoping that this will also be the case in his second marriage split.
The tech mogul began dating Shanahan in 2015 soon after his first divorce was finalized, and they secretly tied the knot on November 7, 2018, only revealing the news of their nuptials to the world in October the following year.
Brin and Shanahan’s divorce news is being reported just days after it was reported that the couple had purchased a $13.5 million Malibu mansion, which was once owned by chart-topper Pink.
According to Dirt, Brin – who has also owned homes in Los Altos, California, and in New York – purchased the property from French investment banker Matthieu Pigasse, who bought it from Pink for $12.5 million in 2016, before flipping the property and putting it back on the market.
Brin and Shanahan, who began dating in 2015, made their public debut as a couple at the 2016 Met Gala, when they walked the red carpet together (pictured)
Brin and Shanahan went public with their relationship in 2016, when they made a glamorous debut as a couple at the Met Gala, appearing on the red carpet alongside the Google co-founder’s ex wife Wojcicki and her then-boyfriend Alex Rodriguez.
The tech baron is being represented by law firm Hanson, Crawford, Crum Family Law Group, LLP in his second divorce, while Shanahan has enlisted the services of two law firms: Spector Law Firm, APLC and Meyer, Olson, Lowy & Meyers, LLP.
News of Brin’s second divorce comes two and a half years after he and his Google co-founder Larry Page announced that they were stepping down from their roles at the website’s parent company, Alphabet.
Page and Brin started the search engine giant in 1998 three years after they met as students at Stanford University, and it went on to become one of the biggest tech companies in the world, earning the former college pals billions and skyrocketing them to the forefront of Silicon Valley’s elite.
However Shanahan also boasts her own prior business success; she was a well established Silicon Valley player before she met her soon-to-be ex-husband, having founded the patent management and valuation company ClearAccessIP in 2013.
The following year she was also named a Code X fellow at The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics.
Shanahan was a Asian Studies major at the University of Puget Sound, and after graduating attended law school at Santa Clara University
She also studied international trade at the National University of Singapore post-law school, and attended the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies just before enrolling at SCU.
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