It’s fair to say that billionaire Elon Musk has an interesting family. And it’s not just his siblings, mom, dad, and kids. His wider family is pretty wild too, including one member who searched for a lost city, a mom who made her name as a model, a couple of top actresses, and an award-winning singer.
Plenty of kids
The entrepreneur, born in 1971 in the South African capital of Pretoria, has extended his family somewhat during his own life. He’s not just the dad of two interestingly named kids with singer Grimes, but he’d already had children before he met her. Six of them! Yep, and most arrived in clusters: twins and triplets, all boys.
Kimbal Musk, brother
First up is Elon’s younger brother, Kimbal. He came with Elon when the latter was brought by dad Errol to Canada from South Africa. The two of them set up a tech firm called Zip2, which made both their fortunes. When they sold it on in 1999 they reaped roughly $300 million. No wonder Elon keeps Kimbal involved in his businesses as a board member.
Not that Kimbal is only concerned with the tech business. He loves the culinary world, and decided to follow his heart after a 2010 accident in which he sustained a broken neck. He founded The Kitchen, a group of five eateries that focus on local sourcing. On top of that, Big Green, his charity, supplies schools with gardens to help kids learn about food.
As far as the marriage pond goes, Kimbal has dipped his toe in twice. The first time was to fellow restaurateur Jen Lewin, and the pair had two kids before splitting up. His second go-round was with Christiana Wyly, who’s daughter to Sam Wyly, himself a one-time billionaire. They got hitched at a quiet ceremony in 2018.
Tosca Musk, sister
Rounding out the Musk siblings is Tosca. She’s the youngest of the three, and she too was born in South Africa. When only five, her parents split. Elon went with dad straight away, with Kimbal following a few years later. Tosca must have missed her brothers, who were both in Canada, until she ended up there too in 1989.
Tosca’s big love is film, an industry in which she has prospered as a producer and director. Having gained experience in TV and film, she moved into the online world with Passionfruit, a production and streaming firm. She and Jeff Macpherson worked together on hit web show Tiki Bar TV. She’s never married, but she has a couple of kids.
Maye Musk, mother
Mother to these three is Maye. She’s a native of Canada, but she left Saskatchewan for the warmer climes of Pretoria when she was a youngster. Still, she returned to the country of her birth in later life, relocating a decade after her split from hubby Errol. In this regard she was following in the footsteps of Elon, who had also migrated to the Great White North eight years earlier. Upon her 1989 return, she went into business as a dietitian.
On top of that, Maye had previously worked as a model. And when Elon purchased a residence for her in New York City in 2019 she was able to live there and continue her modeling career. This wasn’t just a vanity project for her either. She was on the books of leading agency IMG Models and made a successful living out of her looks.
New York Fashion Week
In fact, Maye had worked as a model since she was 15. You may have seen her on the front of Special K boxes or on Time magazine’s cover. If you were a devotee of fashion shows, you might have caught her during New York Fashion Week. She was still in the business in 2017 when she bagged a role as spokeswoman for CoverGirl magazine.
As a single mom, it’s not a stretch to suppose Maye’d had to work hard to bring up her kids. And she had definite goals in mind for them. She wrote in an essay in 2018, “I brought my children up like my parents brought us up when we were young: to be independent, kind, honest, considerate and polite. I taught them the importance of working hard and doing good things.”
Justine Wilson, first wife
While Elon was at university in Kingston, Ontario, a young woman called Justine Wilson caught his eye. Although their burgeoning love affair fizzled out for a time, after he’d moved on to Wharton School in Pennsylvania it eventually sparked back to life. By now, Justine was a budding novelist. Sparks definitely flew again and the couple tied the knot in 2000.
At the time, Justine’d had an inkling that it would not be a perfect union. She wrote in fashion magazine Marie Claire in 2019 about a dance at the reception for their wedding. According to Justine, Elon had said to her, “I am the alpha in this marriage.” She penned, “I shrugged it off, just as I would later shrug off signing the postnuptial agreement, but as time went on, I learned that he was serious.”
Nowadays Justine is not too complimentary about Elon. She noted that their relationship had been “unhealthy,” and it ended in 2008 in divorce. All the same, during their time together, the couple had plenty of kids. Sadly, the first, Nevada, didn’t survive infancy, but Justine would go on to bear both twins and triplets. Now the two of them have joint custody of the five.
Talulah Riley, second wife
Well, Elon wasn’t on the market for long after his divorce, and it’s fair to say he fell head over heels for the woman who would become wife number two. After going out with Talulah Riley, an actress, for just a few weeks, the couple got engaged. The pair made the match official in 2010 — but this relationship wasn’t destined to last either.
Westworld star Talulah certainly did make an impression on Elon, and vice versa. The actress told CBS News in 2014, “Well, he was very charming and definitely the most interesting and eccentric person I have ever met.” She acknowledged that it had been a whirlwind romance, saying, “It all happened very fast. We were engaged after, I think, two weeks of knowing each other.”
But the union proved something of a roller coaster ride. Things came to a head in 2012 when Elon announced on Twitter that it was all over. He tweeted, “It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever. You will make someone very happy one day.” But as it turned out, the relationship wasn’t quite finished.
No, in the next year, the two gave it another go, and Elon was once more a married man. It lasted three years this time. But when it all ended there was no acrimony, as Talulah made clear to People magazine in 2016. She said, “We still see each other all the time and take care of each other.”
Amber Heard, girlfriend
It wasn’t too long before another actress was in Elon’s life. This time it was Amber Heard, freshly split from Johnny Depp. Rumors swirled for a while until the pair confirmed their relationship in 2017. Given Elon’s famed attachment to social media, it’s no surprise that they let the world know through the medium of Instagram.
A few months later it was finished. In August 2017 Us magazine quoted a source who said Amber didn’t have the time for romance given her burgeoning career. Elon was downcast. He told Rolling Stone magazine, “I just broke up with my girlfriend. I was really in love, and it hurt bad. Well, she broke up with me more than I broke up with her, I think.” Amazingly, he then begged the interviewer to help him find a date!
But the romance with Amber had a twist, too. Yes, you’ve guessed it: early the next year, they gave it a fresh go, but it didn’t take. A month later, he was confirming on social media that although they’d broken up, “We are still friends, remain close, and love one another.”
Grimes, girlfriend and baby mama
It wouldn’t be too long before there was someone new in Elon’s life: Grimes. Christened Claire Elise Boucher, she is a native of Vancouver, Canada. As you’re probably aware, Grimes makes electronic music to some acclaim. In 2012 she scored a Juno Award for her album Visions. More awards followed in 2015 for Art Angels.
So when Grimes hooked up with Elon, she was herself a well-known figure. And their fresh romance became public knowledge in May 2018 when the two of them turned up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art together, ready for the Costume Institute Gala. Page Six website let fans know that they’d been “quietly dating” for some weeks.
Despite Grimes’ profile, you might wonder how the two met. Well, it was online. It turned out the pair shared a sense of humor about tech. And they certainly hit it off, with Grimes dropping the news in January 2020 that she was expecting a baby. The pair duly became parents in May that year.
Despite having a son, the couple’s relationship didn’t have any great longevity. By September 2021 Elon was telling Page Six that it was all over. Mind you, although he did say they were “semi-separated,” it seemed that it remained friendly, with the two sharing a great love for each other. Grimes claimed in 2022 that the relationship was “fluid,” and it certainly seemed to be, with another child arriving in that year.
So clearly being “semi-separated” didn’t prevent parenting! As Elon told Page Six, “It’s mostly that my work at Space X and Tesla requires me to be primarily in Texas or traveling overseas and her work is primarily in L.A. She’s staying with me now and Baby X is in the adjacent room.”
And the singer confirmed that the pair did live separately but were still “best friends” in a March 2022 interview. Then she tweeted that it was over once more. She wrote, “Me and E have broken up *again* since the writing of this article haha, but he’s my best friend and the love of my life, and my life and art are forever dedicated to The Mission now.”
X Æ A-Xii, seventh son
Whatever the state of their relationship, Grimes and Elon are parents to two. The first is X Æ A-Xii, known as simply “X.” He’s named for a CIA spy plane. The couple can’t agree on how Æ is pronounced. It’s either “A.I.” or “ash,” depending which parent you ask.
Exa Dark Sideræl, daughter
If anything, the pair topped X’s name with Exa Dark Sideræl, their daughter. Exa derives from computing term “exaflops,” while Dark is, says Grimes, not meant to be sinister. She explained to Vanity Fair magazine, “People fear it but truly it’s the absence of photons. Dark matter is the beautiful mystery of our universe.” The girl is known as “Y,” and it’s not known at the time of writing if a “Z” is planned.
Nevada, first son
As previously noted, X and Y are not Elon’s first kids. The very first was Nevada Alexander, a son he had with Justine. Tragically, Nevada did not live past ten weeks, when he succumbed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Justine wrote in Marie Claire, “Nevada went down for a nap, placed on his back as always, and stopped breathing.” Desperate attempts to sustain his life failed.
Xavier, Griffin, Kai, Saxon and Damian, second through sixth sons
Justine explained what happened next, “I buried my feelings… coping with Nevada’s death by making my first visit to an IVF clinic less than two months later. Elon and I planned to get pregnant again as swiftly as possible. Within the next five years, I gave birth to twins, then triplets.”
Low birth rate
So Elon has seven surviving kids all told — but don’t count on him being finished. He told a business leaders’ meeting in December 2021, “I think one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birth rate and the rapidly declining birth rate. Please look at the numbers — if people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble, mark my words.”
Errol Musk, father
Elon’s dad Errol, according to Rolling Stone, gained a qualification as an engineer younger than any other South African. So it’s probably no surprise that Elon claims that he has an I.Q. that would make him a genius. And, to be honest, Elon is probably the last person you’d expect to pay Errol a compliment.
They don’t get on, with a relationship that Elon characterizes as “difficult.” He ultimately opted to live with his dad after the split from his mom, and Elon told Rolling Stone in 2017 that it had been “not a good idea.” In fact, he described Errol as a “terrible human being.” He told the magazine, “You have no idea about how bad. Almost every crime you can possibly think of, he has done.”
Still, the feeling is not mutual, with Errol sharing with the magazine, “I love my children and would readily do whatever for them.” They would go with him on overseas jaunts. He told Forbes magazine in 2015, “Their mother and I split up when they were quite young and the kids stayed with me. I took them all over the world.”
Jana Bezuidenhout, stepsister
After Errol split from Maye, he found new love with Heide Bezuidenhout. And also with her daughter, Jana. Jana had been four at the time of his remarriage, but when she was full-grown, Errol had a kid with her, on top of the two he’d had with Heide. He put it down to loneliness and once told newspaper the Sunday Times that it had been “God’s plan” that he should end up with Jana.
Minor parenting role
Errol told The Sunday Times in 2018 that he hadn’t ever thought of Jana as a step relation because he hadn’t played much part in raising her. He further explained that although he provided for the child and Jana, and he did see the two of them often, he didn’t share a home with them.
Rive family, cousins
Elon’s cousins, the Rive brothers, are very much involved in the tech business too. Lyndon and Peter were founders of SolarCity, and Lyndon ran it until he sold it to Tesla for $2.6 billion. Along with a third brother, Ross, they’d already made a bundle from Everdream, a software firm they had sold in 1999. Sister Almeda worked for SolarCity but, possibly more excitingly, rides dirt bikes.
Joshua Haldeman, granddad
Now Elon is of course a very well-known face, but he’s not the first in his family line. Maye’s dad Joshua Haldeman became famous before Elon was born. First of all, Joshua went from log cabin to respectable wealth as a chiropractor in Saskatchewan. To help with his practice, he became a licensed pilot and bought a plane.
But fame called when Joshua took his family to South Africa in 1950. Before long, he was taking his whole family on jaunts into the desert to find the Lost City of the Kalahari. The long expeditions caught people’s attention, but the end result was perhaps disappointing. South Africa’s version of El Dorado remains lost.