Silicon Valley divorces have been all over the news as of late, with Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates perhaps the most noteworthy examples. But while these divorces have been hidden away from the public eye, another breakup in the big tech world is brimming with public controversy. We are speaking, of course, about Scott Hassan, the so-called “third founder of Google.” Hassan has been locked in a fierce legal battle with his former wife since 2014, and the feud is becoming increasingly public in nature. Unlike Gates and Bezos, Hassan seems to be perfectly fine with the details of this divorce spilling out into the public domain.
The Divorce is Worth Billions
Although Hassan is not on the same level as Bezos or Gates in terms of his overall wealth, his estate is estimated to be worth billions. As a result, his divorce from Allison Huynh could involve the division of extremely notable assets and investments. Among these assets include several real estate properties in some of the most desirable and affluent neighborhoods in California. One report puts the couple’s combined assets at $1.8 billion.
Hassan purchased 160,000 shares in Google in 1998 for $800. This was back when he was working alongside Larry Page and others to found the company. While Hassan is not considered a “major player” in big tech, many experts agree that the Google search engine would not have been possible without his contributions as a programmer. When Google went public in 2004, those 160,000 shares would have been worth $200 million. Today, 160,000 shares in Alphabet are worth approximately $13 billion.
Hassan Accused of Engaging in “Divorce Terrorism”
Some media outlets have accused Hassan of engaging in so-called “divorce terrorism.” Reports have surfaced that suggest he had offered his wife a “minuscule” portion of his billion-dollar fortune as they approached divorce. He is also accused of attempting to convince her to sign a postnuptial agreement, an effort that ultimately failed.
Hassan also set up a website allegedly intended to embarrass his former spouse. This website contained information on several lawsuits that Huynh had been involved in. One involved a wrongful termination lawsuit, which involved allegations that his wife threatened to kill a former love interest and then commit suicide. Hassan later admitted that he had set up the site “in a moment of frustration,” and took it down.
Why is Hassan Making His Divorce So Public?
Hassan’s decision to allow the public to see the details of his divorce is clearly a conscious choice. With his wealth, he could easily pay to have these details hidden away from the public. Many have suggested that this could all be a ploy to draw out the divorce process even further and subject Huynh to even greater levels of stress.
The divorce has already been going on for about seven years now, and it shows no sign of stopping. A trial will expose many key details, such as the finances of both spouses during the early stages of the marriage. Huynh claims that she was the primary wage earner during these years, and that Hassan was a debt-ridden college student with over $60,000 in student loans.
Details such as these will ultimately become clear as the trial proceeds, and those interested in the finances of a big tech divorce will be treated to an inside look into how a billion-dollar estate is divided.