Sergey Brin, the billionaire co-founder of Google, is reportedly headed for divorce. If true, it will be the second divorce for Brin, whose $98 billion net worth makes him the sixth-richest person on the planet today. His previous divorce, from 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki, was settled in 2015. Following that split, in 2018 Sergey married Nicole Shanahan. They have one child together. Apparently he and Nicole separated in December of last year, and just now made the divorce filing official.
Brin isn’t asking for spousal support from Shanahan, naturally, but he is requesting that she not be awarded any. He is also asking for joint custody of the former couple’s daughter.
The filings indicate that privacy is one of the utmost priorities in Brin’s mind. One filing from Brin’s lawyers explains why:
“Petitioner is a co-founder of Google and one of the wealthiest and most famous technology entrepreneurs in the world. 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.”
We don’t know any details about how the ex-couple’s assets will be dispersed, and the filings indicate that those financial details “are to be determined” at a later time, a process that Brin also wants to keep private:
“All issues as to the property rights or obligations of the parties will be determined by confidential binding arbitration in accordance with a written agreement between the parties.”
However that division of property goes, Brin’s nearly $100 billion net worth means this could be on track to join other billionaire divorces as one of the most expensive ever.
Brin has even taken the step of hiring a “temporary judge” to preside over the case, a speedier legal process available to those who can pay the price – in this case, a reported $950 an hour, plus another $300 an hour for the judge’s legal assistant.