Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Who Gets the L.L.C.? Inside a Silicon Valley Billionaire’s Divorce.

DivorceIn 2014, Scott Hassan, one of the founders of Google, texted his wife of 13 years to tell her that their marriage was over and he was moving out of their home. After nearly 7 years, the couple is still tied up in litigation over "how to divide an estate with tech investments and prime California properties estimated to be worth billions of dollars." 

A trial expected to begin Monday will offer "an unusual, public peek into the details of a big-money Silicon Valley divorce." Included in these details is Mr. Hassan's failed attempt to get his ex-wife, Ms. Huynh to sign a postnuptial agreement and his admission that he "started a website in her name to publicize embarrassing information from her past." 

In the past, technology billionaires have "typically divorced quietly behind closed doors." Every now and again, unpleasant details will be leaked into the news, but it is still rare for couples to trade blows in a public courtroom. 

Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki hired a private judge to "hash out the details" of their split. Also, the divorces of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos were handled in private. 

Ms. Huynh has accused Mr. Hassan of engaging in "divorce terrorism" claiming that Mr. Hassan told her that he planned to "bury her" and make sure she "gets nothing." 

Mr. Hassan denied making those statements but stated that "no one is at their best" during a divorce. 

It will be interesting to see how things play out in the public proceedings.

See Daisuke Wakabayashi, Who Gets the L.L.C.? Inside a Silicon Valley Billionaire’s Divorce., N.Y. Times, August 20, 2021. 

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  


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