RFK Jr.’s VP Pick Allegedly Used Drugs, Threatened Self-Harm

Ian Tuttle/Getty
Ian Tuttle/Getty

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s running mate, Nicole Shanahan, frequented the Silicon Valley party circuit while married to Google founder Sergey Brin and was known to use cocaine, ketamine, and psychedelics, according to a new report in The New York Times.

The story, which follows an investigative profile on Shanahan published by The Daily Beast earlier this month, also alleged that Shanahan threatened to harm herself while negotiating her two divorces—one from Brin and the other from a tech investor who divorced her after 27 days in 2014 after discovering that she and Brin were having an affair.

The Times story said that Shanahan is a billionaire, in large part due to her divorce last year from Brin. The Daily Beast previously reported on a mysterious transfer of more than $800 million in shares of Google’s parent company Brin made last year, which had the appearance of a divorce settlement, multiple attorneys said.

The Times report, which was based on interviews with over 20 people, contended that Shanahan “has omitted and embellished parts of her history.” For instance, the outlet wrote, Kennedy’s campaign has said that Shanahan received an athletic scholarship to her private high school in California. But the school told the Times “it had never offered scholarships.” Shanahan did receive financial aid, however.

Her campaign biography also emphasizes that she ran varsity cross-country while studying economics, Asian studies, and Mandarin at the University of Puget Sound. Yet several runners on the roster did not remember her when contacted by The Daily Beast, nor did the team’s coach, who later confirmed that Shanahan had run in just three races before withdrawing.

After The Daily Beast published its story, Shanahan released a statement on X saying she was “hurt” and argued that she had been slandered. (She did not respond to numerous requests for comment prior to publication.)

She texted the Times reporter in advance of the outlet’s story that she was “shocked the NYT is letting you run something like this.”

Is Nicole Shanahan the Most Dangerous Woman in America?

Sources cited by the Times said that Shanahan was selected without significant vetting. The story also described Shanahan’s attempts to paint herself as a paragon of philanthropy, akin to Mackenzie Scott, hiring a publicist and paying over $200,000 in 2021 “for a lifestyle photographer to take her photos for a San Francisco Magazine article called ‘Nicole Shanahan Is Fighting the Good Fight.’”

The article also offered fresh details on Shanahan’s alleged affair with Elon Musk, which reportedly led to her divorce. (The Times reporter, Kirsten Grind, was also one of the Wall Street Journal reporters who broke the original story on the affair.)

According to this week’s account, Shanahan and Musk partied at her birthday bash in 2021. Later, they partied again at the Art Basel festival in Miami, at an event hosted by Musk’s brother, Kimbal.

She and Musk “took ketamine,” the outlet wrote, and “disappeared together for several hours.” Shanahan later admitted to Brin that she and Musk had sex, the Times added, citing three unnamed sources. Both Musk and Shanahan have publicly denied news accounts of their relationship.

Shanahan allegedly made a habit of indulging in vices. The Times reported that, at a party in 2021, she became “so intoxicated by drugs and alcohol that she required an IV infusion.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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