Culture

Elon Musk’s Strange Romantic History

By Ella Carroll-Smith
·  7 min read
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Getty

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Elon Musk is one colorful billionaire. But did you know that his romantic history is almost wilder than his Twitter takeover?

Elon Musk has been all over the news lately for purchasing Twitter and completely overhauling the platform. Some people love him and see him as a champion of free speech, while others (including many celebrities) see him as a harbinger of doom. If you thought the craziest part of Elon’s life was the way he conducts himself on Twitter, then buckle up because his love life is even crazier. 

From Amber Heard to Grimes to Talulah Riley to a seemingly random Tesla employee, Elon’s been around the block when it comes to love. He’s fathered ten (TEN!) children, married one woman twice, and allegedly had a three-way affair with Amber Heard and a well-known model. Let’s take a deep dive into the many loves and offspring of the infamous Elon…

Justine Musk

Justine Musk (maiden name Wilson) was Musk’s first wife. She’s a Canadian fantasy author who fell in love with Musk long before he was a household name. They met at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada in the late ‘90s and dated on and off for a few years, throughout college and while Elon was a struggling entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, before officially tying the knot in 2000. The couple’s first son, Nevada, tragically died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2002, at just 10 weeks old. After his death, they went on to have five children via IVF: a set of twins (Griffin and Vivian) in 2004 and a set of triplets (Kai, Saxon, and Damian) in 2006. Elon filed for divorce two years later, in 2008.

Their split was a messy one. Justine penned a 2010 essay for Marie Clare magazine detailing their entire relationship saga, in which she revealed that Elon accused her of being “emotionally manipulative” for openly grieving Nevada’s death, pushed her to dye her hair blonde and become a “trophy wife,” and often ridiculed her career ambitions. Six weeks after filing for divorce from Justine, Musk was already engaged to his next wife. 

Talulah Riley

Talulah Riley is an English actress who you might have seen in Pride & Prejudice or Westworld, among other things. She and Musk met at a bar in London in 2008 and began dating shortly thereafter. The strangest thing about their relationship is that they were actually married twice, first from 2010 to 2012, then a second time from 2013 to 2016. 

Talulah told The Independent that she “understands it looks strange” that she and Musk were married twice. “I suppose the reason to get remarried was just because it felt silly to be together unmarried after having been married. You know, it’s like a habit. We were saying, ‘This is my husband.’ ‘This is my wife.’ ‘Oh, wait, no, we’re not that anymore. We better be that again.’”

Musk got engaged to actress Talulah Riley six weeks after divorcing his first wife. 

Despite divorcing for good the second time around, Riley and Musk remain friends and, according to Riley, still share a “very deep love and connection.” She remains a large influence in his life today and was actually one of the people encouraging Musk to buy Twitter and help fight woke-ism. Another fun fact? Riley is now dating that little boy from Love Actually! 

Amber Heard

Amber Heard’s love life is even more insane than Elon Musk’s, so it’s almost unsurprising that she and the billionaire are linked. Heard and ex-husband Johnny Depp went through an ugly divorce in 2016, then were at the center of an even uglier defamation suit and media circus earlier this year. But did you know that Heard also dated Elon Musk in 2016, shortly after filing for divorce from Johnny Depp? 

At least, that’s when the pair claim they started dating, though sources close to Heard allege that the two actually started dating prior to Heard’s divorce from Depp. The weirdest part? Sources also claim Heard admitted to having a three-way affair with both Musk and actress Cara Delevingne. Musk, Heard, and Delevingne all deny this. 

Heard only dated Musk for about a year, but she made a big impression. In November 2017, Musk told Rolling Stone that their breakup was difficult for him because he was “really in love, and it hurt bad.” 

Grimes 

Singer Grimes (whose real name is Claire Boucher) began dating Elon Musk in 2018. Funnily enough, they actually met via Twitter. Musk slid into her DMs when he realized they’d both made the same joke about artificial intelligence.

Grimes gave birth to the couple’s first child in 2020, a son named X AE A-XII. Yes, you read that correctly. Grimes explained (via Twitter, of course) that the meaning behind the strange name has something to do with the elven spelling of artificial intelligence and the couple’s favorite aircraft, the SR-71. 

Grimes and Musk met via Twitter, when he slid into the singer’s DMs.

The downfall of their relationship also played out on Twitter. In July 2020, Elon began tweeting things like “take the red pill” and “Pronouns suck,” to which Grimes replied, “I love you but please turn off ur phone or give me a [call]. I cannot support hate. Please stop this. I know this isn’t your heart.”

Musk and Grimes were on-again, off-again for the remainder of their relationship. They welcomed a second child via surrogate in December 2021, a girl named Exa Dark Sideræl, nicknamed “Y.” The couple broke up for good shortly after her birth, with Grimes tweeting that Elon is still “my best friend and the love of my life.”

Shivon Zilis

This is where things get even messier. A few weeks before welcoming his second child with Grimes, Musk secretly fathered twins with Shivon Zilis, a former Tesla employee. Zilis is a Canadian venture capitalist specializing in the fields of artificial intelligence and technology. She’s wildly successful in her own right and was featured on lists such as Forbes 20 under 30 and LinkedIn’s 35 Under 35. 

According to her LinkedIn profile, Zilis worked as a Project Director for Tesla from 2017-2019 before going on to work at Musk’s start-up, Neuralink, where she still serves as the company’s Director of Operations and Special Projects. Musk’s and Zilis’s paths crossed at some point during that time, and while they were clearly engaged in some sort of relationship, the details are a bit fuzzy. 

The twins Zilis had with Musk in November 2021 were actually conceived via IVF. According to Reuters, Zilis told colleagues that “she was not involved romantically with Musk.” Musk has also revealed few details about his relationship with Zilis, though he did confirm that they have children together, tweeting: “Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis. A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far.”

Closing Thoughts

If you’ve lost count (and who could blame you), that’s five partners that we know about and 10 children. Elon is clearly a relationship-minded guy who is “passionate” about procreation. He even told The Rolling Stone he’s not interested in one-night stands, saying, “If I’m not in love, if I’m not with a long-term companion, I cannot be happy.” If I were a betting woman, I’d say that Elon Musk’s strange romantic (and procreation) history is far from over!

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