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Elon Musk says his kids' safety is at risk unless a Texas judge restricts access to his custody battle with Grimes

Elon Musk wears a baseball cap and holds his son.
Elon Musk with his son, X Æ A-Xii.Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk filed new documents in Texas court asking a judge to restrict access to his custody battle.

  • Attorneys for Musk want a judge to issue a protective order before he agrees to sit for a deposition.

  • A protective order would keep information Musk reveals during a deposition from being made public, a legal expert said.

Elon Musk is trying to lock down public access to his dual-state custody battle with Grimes as the former couple fights it out in court over their three shared children.

The tech billionaire this week filed new documents in Texas court, asking a judge to issue a protective order before he agrees to sit for a deposition, according to filings obtained by Business Insider.

Musk also asked a judge to suspend public access to documents in the case, arguing the potential risk to his children outweighs any public interest in the high-profile custody battle.

Grimes, whose legal name is Claire Boucher, is suing Musk in California court for physical custody of their three shared children, Æ A-12 — also known as baby X — who is 3, and one-year-olds Exa (or Y) and Tau.

Musk was first to strike, however, quietly suing Grimes in Texas court in September to establish a "parent-child" relationship with the kids. The pair started dating in 2018 and were in an off-and-on-again relationship until recently.

Attorneys for Grimes previously requested Musk sit for a deposition at her lawyer's office later this month. But in a filing this week, Musk said he wouldn't answer her attorney's questions until privacy protections are in place.

Attorneys for Musk and Grimes didn't immediately respond to BI's request for comment.

During a deposition, Musk would likely face wide-ranging questions about all aspects of his life, including his business interests and healthcare practices as the court seeks to determine whether California or Texas has jurisdiction over the case, Christopher Melcher, a California family law attorney and partner at Walzer Melcher, told BI.

A protective order would guarantee the information Musk reveals during a deposition remains private and inaccessible to the public, Melcher added.

"Elon is going to want all this information locked up in a box so tight that Grimes could never use it," Melcher said. "And while she may have no intention of publishing it outside the case, she wants to have reasonable access to it so she can use it to prove or disprove whatever she needs to."

Lawyers for both Musk and Grimes have already tried and failed to agree to the terms of a confidentiality agreement ahead of a deposition, according to the filings. This is a common outcome in contentious family court cases, Melcher added.

"To date, no confidentiality agreements or orders have been agreed," Musk's attorneys wrote this week. "Without confidentiality, the children's safety and welfare is at severe risk."

Musk's lawyers proposed a hearing on the motion for a protective order to take place later this month, according to a document obtained by BI.

Elon Musk (left) and Grimes (right).
Elon Musk (left) and Grimes (right).Chesnot via Getty Images; Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Jurisdiction dispute

Since September, Musk and Grimes have been fighting over where their custody battle should take place, with each party seeking to win jurisdiction on their respective home turf.

Musk, who initially filed in Texas, has accused Grimes of trying to avoid the state's courts, where monthly child-support payments are capped at just $2,760 for three children.

Grimes, meanwhile, countersued Musk in California, which she alleges is home for the couple's children. The state has no limit on child support payments, meaning a person like Musk — the richest man in the world — would likely be saddled with hefty monthly payments.

Musk claims Texas is the proper jurisdiction for the custody battle because it was the children's most recent permanent residence when he filed. He alleges Grimes and the kids lived with him in Texas until as recently as July 2023.

In his September suit, he alleged Grimes moved to California earlier this year in an effort to "circumvent the jurisdiction" of Texas courts.

Grimes, however, said in her October filing that the couple's kids had been living with her in California since December 2022.

In October, Grimes told a Texas court that the couple's oldest son, X, who is frequently pictured with his famous father around the world, was with Musk over "her objection."

Elon Musk and X
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk with one of his son walks on the pit lane after the 2023 United States Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on October 22, 2023.(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)

Privacy concerns

Musk's request for privacy assurances is a "reasonable position" for someone of his level of fame to take, Melcher said.

The Tesla and SpaceX founder has expressed concerns about his privacy and his children's safety in the past. Last year, Musk threatened to sue college student Jack Sweeney who shared the whereabouts of his private jet on X, formerly known as Twitter.

At the time, Musk claimed his son, X, was followed by a "crazy stalker" who climbed on the car's hood and attempted to block the car.

"Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family," he wrote on X. (Musk never sued Sweeney.)

The billionaire also warned multiple times that he might "die under mysterious circumstances" after claiming he'd been threatened by Russian officials over SpaceX's involvement in the Ukraine war.

Musk has become a controversial figure over the years. Most recently, Musk drew ire after he appeared to boost an antisemitic post on social media last month — causing X advertisers and some Tesla fans to speak out against Musk.

On Wednesday, the Tesla CEO went on a tirade at DealBook Summit where he told advertisers who fled his social media site to "Go fuck yourself" and even took aim at Disney CEO Bob Iger.

Read the original article on Business Insider