Inside the turbulent personal life of Elon Musk, who's been divorced 3 times, dated Hollywood stars, and now co-parents two babies with the musician Grimes

·7 min read
Inside the turbulent personal life of Elon Musk, who's been divorced 3 times, dated Hollywood stars, and now co-parents two babies with the musician Grimes
elon musk grimes dating met gala
Grimes, left, and Elon Musk attend the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in May 2018.Charles Sykes/AP
  • Elon Musk has had a headline-grabbing personal life over the years.

  • He has seven children, has been divorced three times, and is in a "fluid" relationship with Grimes.

  • Here's a closer look at Musk's famous family and high-profile relationships.

  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Tech daily newsletter.

Born in 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa, Musk was the eldest of three children. His mother, Maye Musk, is a Canadian model who's appeared on the cover of Time and became a CoverGirl spokesperson at 69. His father Errol is an engineer.

peter thiel elon musk early paypal
Elon Musk in 1999.AP

Source: Vanity Fair, Town and Country, Vogue, Forbes

Musk told Rolling Stone he's struggled with loneliness since childhood. "When I was a child, there's one thing I said," Musk said. "'I never want to be alone.'"

Elon Musk
Elon Musk.REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Source: Rolling Stone, Insider

Overall, Musk's childhood was far from idyllic. He was ruthlessly bullied in school, and even ended up hospitalized after his tormentors shoved him down a staircase. Soon after his parents split, around 1979, Musk went to live with his father, Errol — Musk told Rolling Stone that they are now estranged.

Errol Musk
Errol Musk.Denver Post Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon

Source: Insider, Rolling Stone

Musk is seemingly still close with his brother, Kimbal, and sister, Tosca. All of the Musk siblings seemingly share an entrepreneurial streak: Kimbal is seeking to make the food industry more sustainable and healthy, while Tosca launched the romance-film network Passionflix.

kimbal musk elon musk brother
Kimbal Musk, Elon's brother.Fred Prouser/Reuters

Source: CNBC, CNBC, Forbes, CNBC

Musk also seems to have a good relationship with his mother. Vanity Fair reported that he gifted Maye with a green Tesla, and she moved to California in 2013 to be closer to her children and grandchildren.

Maye Musk
Maye Musk.Danny Moloshok/Reuters

Source: Vanity Fair

He met his first wife, Justine Wilson, at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. Writing in Marie Claire, she recalled that Musk invited her out for ice cream. She decided to stay in to study, but he showed up with "two chocolate-chip ice cream cones dripping down his hands."

justine musk
Justine Musk.Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Source: Marie Claire

Musk transferred to Wharton, but kept sending Justine roses. They went their separate ways, but reconnected as Musk started working on his first startup and Justine started working on her first novel after graduation. Justine said Musk wooed her by giving her his credit card to buy as many books as she wanted. The pair tied the knot in 2000.

Wharton University of Pennsylvania
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.Charles Mostoller/Reuters

Source: Marie Claire

The couple moved to Los Angeles and had a son named Nevada, who they lost to SIDS. They ultimately had twins and triplets — five kids in total. In 2010, Musk has called his children "the love of my life."

elon musk justine musk kids
Elon Musk, Talulah Riley, and two of his children.AP

Source: Insider, Insider, Insider

 

 

 

The couple split in 2008. After his divorce, the tech mogul began dating actress Talulah Riley.

Elon Musk Talulah Riley
Elon Musk and Talulah Riley.Mike Blake/Reuters

Source: Bloomberg

While Musk and his first wife became estranged, Justine wrote in Marie Claire that she and Riley ended up getting along very well. She even sent her ex-husband's girlfriend an email saying: "I would rather live out the French-movie version of things, in which the two women become friends and various philosophies are pondered."

Talulah Riley
Talulah Riley.Jordan Strauss/AP Images

Source: Marie Claire

Riley and Musk married in 2010. Two years later, news of their divorce became public when Musk tweeted at Riley: "It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever. You will make someone very happy one day."

Talulah Riley Elon Musk
Elon Musk and Talulah Riley.Mike Blake/Reuters

Source: Forbes

The couple remarried in 2013. Musk filed for — then withdrew — a second divorce the following year.

Elon Musk Talulah Riley
Elon Musk and Talulah Riley.Evan Agostini/AP Images

Source: POPSugar

In 2016, Riley filed for divorce from Musk, which was finalized in late 2016. The two are still on good terms, however — Riley even made an appearance during Strauss' Rolling Stone profile of Musk. "We still see each other all the time and take care of each other," she told People.

Elon Musk Talulah Riley
Elon Musk and Talulah Riley.Mike Blake/Reuters

Source: Rolling Stone, People

Musk began dating actress Amber Heard in 2016, but they broke up a year later due to their intense schedules.

Amber Heard
Amber Heard.Getty Images

Source: The Cut, Rolling Stone

In a comment on one of Heard's Instagram posts, Musk said he and his ex were "still friends, remain close and love one another," and added, "who knows what the future holds." He later told Rolling Stone: "I was really in love, and it hurt bad."

elon musk
Elon Musk.Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

Source: Rolling StoneThe Cut

In May 2018, Musk arrived at the annual Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art alongside Grimes, a Canadian musician. At the time, Page Six reported that the pair had been "quietly dating" for a few weeks.

Grimes Elon Musk
Musk and Grimes in 2018.Evan Agostini/AP

Source: Page Six

Grimes and Musk met over Twitter. Musk was planning to make a joke about artificial intelligence — specifically, about the Rococo Basilisk character in her "Flesh Without Blood" video — and discovered she had beaten him to the punch.

elon musk
Elon Musk.REUTERS/Steve Nesius

Source: Twitter

Musk later told The Wall Street Journal that he loves Grimes for her "wild fae artistic creativity and hyper intense work ethic."

grimes singer
Grimes.Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Roc Nation

Source: The Wall Street Journal

In January 2020, Grimes posted a photo to her Instagram and Twitter accounts that appeared to show her pregnant. She later confirmed she was expecting a baby with Musk.

Grimes
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Source: Instagram, Insider

On May 4, 2020, Musk announced the birth of their son, who he and Grimes named "X Æ A-Xii Musk," seemingly pronounced "X Ash A-12." "Mom & baby all good," Musk wrote on Twitter.

Elon Musk Grimes
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Huffington Post

Source: Insider, Insider

That December, Musk said that he had moved to Texas following a months-long fight with the state of California over coronavirus lockdown restrictions. It appeared that Grimes and baby X had moved with him, and in March, he shared a family photo taken near SpaceX's facilities in South Texas.

Source: Insider, Insider

But in September 2021, Musk told Page Six that he and Grimes had broken up. "It's mostly that my work at SpaceX and Tesla requires me to be primarily in Texas or traveling overseas and her work is primarily in LA," Musk said at the time.

Elon Musk Grimes
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Insider

In March 2022, Grimes revealed in a Vanity Fair interview that the couple had secretly had a baby girl via surrogate named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk.

grimes singer
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Roc Nation

Source: Insider

Grimes said "Exa" is a reference to the supercomputing term exaflops, "Dark" is about the unknown, and "Sideræl" is an "elven" spelling of sidereal, meaning "the true time of the universe," pronounced "sigh-deer-ee-el." Grimes and Musk call her Y for short.

Grimes
Mike Windle/Getty Images for Coachella

Source: Insider

Grimes told Vanity Fair that she and Musk aren't back together, but their relationship is "very fluid," and they plan to have more children together.

Elon Musk and Grimes
Elon Musk and GrimesPascal Le Segretiain/Getty Images, left, and Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Source: Insider

In April, Musk's 18-year-old daughter, who is transgender, applied to legally change her name in order to confirm her gender identity and to distance herself from Musk. In the filing, she wrote that she no longer wishes to live with or to be "related to my biological father in any way, shape or form."

Elon Musk
Elon Musk.Mario Tama/Getty Images

Source: Insider

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