For anyone wondering what newborn X Æ A-12 Musk should be called, grandma Maye Musk can shed some light: “I call him X.”
The model and mother of Elon Musk, the 48-year-old CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is used to watching her son’s escapades hit the headlines.
But even by his standards, the past few weeks have been wild. He celebrated the birth of his son with singer Grimes on May 4, then corrected her on Twitter when she explained the bizarre name and mistyped that A-12 is a precursor to SR-17, “our favourite aircraft.” (“SR-71, but yes,” Elon tweeted, prompting Grimes to reply: “I am recovering from surgery.”)
This week, he put four Los Angeles homes and a San Francisco mansion on the market, saying he was getting rid of “almost all physical possessions” and would “own no house”.
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The tech mogul, who is worth an estimated $US38 billion, went into a standoff with Northern California officials, and is planning to reopen a Tesla factory Monday ahead of stay-at-home orders being lifted – leading some employees to complain he doesn’t have their interests at heart.
Earlier this month, Elon went on a rant – “Tesla stock price is too high,” he tweeted – which sent stocks into free fall, wiping $14 billion from Tesla’s market capitalisation.
None of this seems to faze his mother, who is respecting the coronavirus lockdown. Although she can’t meet her “adorable” grandson yet, she told The Post: “I’m very excited – I wish Elon and Grimes much joy.”
She also must be used to him having new partners. Besides his famous girlfriends, including actress Amber Heard, Elon has been wed three times – twice to the same woman.
Elon married his college crush, Justine Wilson, after they met at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. Justine wrote for Marie Claire in 2010 that he invited her for ice cream and later wooed her at a bookstore, handing over his credit card and telling her to buy anything she wanted.
By the time they wed in January 2000, Elon had sold his first tech company, Zip2, and was worth $20 million. She recalled how he bought a million-dollar McLaren F1 sports car and a small plane. She also wrote how, as they danced at their wedding reception, he told her: “I am the alpha in this relationship.”
The two welcomed their first son, Nevada, who died at 10 weeks old from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Justine coped by going to a fertility clinic after her son’s passing, and getting pregnant with twins Griffin and Xavier, born in 2004, followed by triplets Damian, Saxon and Kai in 2006.
Elon’s fortune exploded when eBay bought his company PayPal, and the family enjoyed all the trappings of wealth in LA: from a private jet to a 6000-square-foot (557sq m) home in Bel Air to celebrity friends like Bono.
Justine published fantasy novels and, all the while, she wrote in Marie Claire, her husband pushed her to go blonder and blonder.
When their marriage began to break down, they sought counselling. But, Justine wrote, “One month and three sessions later, he gave me an ultimatum: ‘Either we fix this marriage today or I will divorce you tomorrow’ … He filed for divorce the next morning.”
Six weeks later, Elon told her he was going to marry Talulah Riley. The British actress, who co-starred in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice, met Elon at a London nightclub. She told the Evening Standard in 2010, “He showed me all these pictures on his phone: ‘This is my rocket,’ ‘This is my electric car’ … I did think he was a little bit insane.’”
Riley was a virgin at the time, and Elon wooed her by sending her 500 roses on a film set and having a 30-person gospel choir serenade her on her birthday. They wed in 2010.
You would think it was true love when Riley told Elon she was willing to retire with him to Mars, but the two divorced in 2012 — only to get remarried the next year, and re-divorced in 2016.
In 2018, employees at Musk’s SpaceX recounted to The Wall Street Journal that they had gauged their boss’ mood by Talulah’s tresses and that he was “happiest when her hair colour approached platinum.”
Things were quieter with his next alleged girlfriend, actress Amber Heard – perhaps because it was allegedly illicit at the beginning.
In an ongoing suit filed last year, Heard’s ex-husband, Johnny Depp, alleged that she had begun an affair with Elon shortly after marrying Depp in 2015. (The suit alleges that Heard defamed Depp with claims of abuse. The two split in May 2016.)
At the time, a rep for Elon said: “Elon and Amber didn’t start seeing each other until May 2016 …”
Elon met Grimes – nee Claire Boucher, 32 – when he went on Twitter in 2018 to make a joke about artificial intelligence, only to find that the Canadian singer had already beaten him to it.
A month later, the two showed up together at the Met Gala, where, one guest told The Post: “Elon was kind of a dud and she didn’t talk to anyone. I was struck by how creepy she looked.”
The two were reportedly on and off for a while, then surprised the world when Grimes announced her pregnancy and confirmed Elon was the father.
Elon has called his boys “the love of my life”.
Obsessed with education, he pulled his older sons out of the prestigious Mirman school in LA and poached a teacher, Josh Dhan, to set up and run Ad Astra, the private school he started after, a source told The Post, falling out with Mirman administrators a few years ago.
His own children attend Ad Astra, where they’re taught a syllabus heavy on science, math, engineering, robotics and AI.
Maye recounts her son’s scrappy childhood in her new book, A Woman Makes a Plan.
In her 20s, Maye was held captive in an abusive marriage by her then-husband, engineer Errol Musk, the father of Elon, his brother, Kimbal, now 47, and sister, Tosca, 45. In 1989, Maye and her kids moved from South Africa to her home country of Canada.
“(They) remember when we stayed in a one-bedroom apartment while I was studying (to be a dietitian) and they would eat soggy hamburgers at the hospital cafeteria,” she told The Post. “When we lived in a rent-controlled apartment in Toronto, Elon, Kimbal and their cousin would alternate sleeping on the bed, couch and carpet.”
Elon remains estranged from his father, who, it was revealed in 2018, also has a son with his former stepdaughter. Elon told Rolling Stone that his father is “a terrible human being”.
Now Elon, Grimes and X might end up living in a rental. “I think possessions … (are) kind of an attack vector,” Elon told podcast host Joe Rogan. “(People will) say, ‘Hey, billionaire, you’ve got all this stuff.’ Well, now I don’t have stuff now what are you going to do?”
This, said a Grimes source, is what makes the CEO and the singer a perfect match: “They’re both as cuckoo as the other.”
This story originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission