- Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk seems to prefer to keep his personal life under wraps.
- It wasn't until 2017 that he opened up in an intensely candid Rolling Stone profile. Musk discussed topics he usually doesn't, from his breakup with actress Amber Heard to his strained relationship with his father.
- Musk appears to be close with his mother, Maye, his sister, Tosca, and his brother, Kimbal. But he has had a stormy personal life at times as well. He's been divorced three times and his name has been recently dragged into a high-profile lawsuit between Heard and actor Johnny Depp.
- These days, Musk is dating musician Grimes and the couple just had a baby together.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
In 2010, Elon Musk said he would "rather stick a fork in my hand than write about my personal life."
But the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is a fascinating figure, and over the years, he's opened up here and there about his childhood, his parents, and his relationships.
Musk got uncharacteristically candid for perhaps the first time in an in-depth Rolling Stone interview by Neil Strauss published in November 2017. He spoke of his breakup with ex-girlfriend Amber Heard, expressing his heartbreak over their parting. Musk also touched upon his estranged relationship with his father Errol, calling him a "terrible human being."
These days, Musk is dating the musician Grimes — the pair debuted their relationship in May 2018, and just had their first child together.
Here's a look at Elon Musk's personal life over the years.
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.
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.'"
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 in 1980, Musk went to live with his father.
Today, Musk and Errol are estranged. The Tesla CEO told Rolling Stone that his father is "a terrible human being." "You have no idea about how bad," Musk said. "Almost every crime you can possibly think of, he has done."
Source: Rolling Stone
Musk's father, who is in his 70s, made headlines in 2018 when it was revealed that he had a child with his then-30-year-old former stepdaughter Jana Bezuidenhout, whom he's known since she was 4 years old.
Despite this familial rift, 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.
Musk also seems to have a good relationship with his mother. Vanity Fair reported that he gifted Maye with a green Tesla. She also moved to California in 2013 to be closer to her children and grandchildren.
Source: Vanity Fair
Musk obtained Canadian citizenship through his mother. At the age of 17, he moved to Kingston, Ontario, to attend Queen's University.
There, he met his first wife, Justine Wilson. 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."
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.
Source: Marie Claire
The couple moved to Los Angeles and had a son named Nevada, whom they lost to SIDS. They ultimately had twins and triplets — five sons in total. Musk said he strives to spend time with his sons. In 2010, he called his children "the love of my life."
The couple split in 2008, and Justine kept her husband's last name for the sake of their kids. After his divorce, the tech mogul began dating actress Talulah Riley.
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."
Source: Marie Claire
Riley and Musk married in 2010. Two years later, news of their divorce became public when Musk tweeted: "It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever. You will make someone very happy one day" at Riley on Twitter.
The couple remarried in 2013. Musk filed for — then withdrew — a second divorce the following year.
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.
Musk began dating actress Amber Heard in 2016, but they broke up a year later due to their intense schedules.
Commenting 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."
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.
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.
Musk later told the Wall Street Journal that he loves Grimes for her "wild fae artistic creativity and hyper intense work ethic."
Source: The Wall Street Journal
In January 2020, Grimes posted a photo to her Instagram and Twitter accounts that showed her pregnant with a fetus Photoshopped on her belly. She later confirmed she was expecting a baby with Musk.
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.
More recently, Musk has been dragged into an ugly court battle between Heard and her ex-husband, actor Johnny Depp. Musk has denied any involvement with Heard while she was still married, as well as other salacious allegations that have come up during the proceedings.
Source: Page Six