Elon Musk tries his best to keep his personal life to himself — but after having so many high-profile relationships, everyone’s wondering what went wrong in his marriages. Currently, he’s with Claire Boucher, aka Grimes. They welcomed a baby together on May 4, and they seem to be going strong. But we can’t forget that Musk was married twice before Grimes was ever in the picture.
Musk met actress Talulah Riley right after his divorce from Justine Wilson. And it proved to be one of his most intimate relationships, as he and Riley married and divorced twice. So, what happened between them — and where do they stand now? Here’s what we know.
Elon Musk met Talulah Riley at a bar after his divorce from Justine Wilson
Musk stated in the past that he never wants to be alone, and he adores the feeling of being in love. When it comes to Riley, he was certainly infatuated. Business Insider notes Ashlee Vance’s book, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, details how the Tesla CEO first met Riley. And it was all thanks to a trip to London with a SpaceX investor.
Musk and the investor were out at a bar when Musk saw Riley for the first time. Vance noted the two hit it off immediately. And Riley explained what it was like first meeting her future husband.
“I remember thinking that this guy probably didn’t get to talk to young actresses a lot and that he seemed quite nervous,” she said. “I decided to be really nice to him and give him a nice evening. Little did I know that he’d spoken to a lot of pretty girls in his life.” Vance then noted that Musk wanted nothing to do with other women after meeting Riley — and their relationship progressed from there.
They wed in 2010 and divorced in 2012
It was marital bliss for Musk and Riley back in 2010. But just two years later, they decided to go their separate ways. Forbes notes Musk took to Twitter at the time to express how much he still adored Riley, so it’s clear the impending divorce was amicable and there was no bitterness between them.
“It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever. You will make someone very happy one day,” Musk tweeted.
So, why did they split the first time? The publication notes Musk said he “simply fell out of love” with the actress after spending four years together. “We took some time apart for several months to see if absence makes the heart grow fonder, and unfortunately it did not,” Musk said. “I still love her, but I’m not in love with her. And I can’t really give her what she wants.”
Even so, he vowed he’d still stay friends with her, but staying married was “far too difficult. Every day was just too difficult.”
Musk and Riley married again in 2013 and divorced in 2016
It seems Musk may have had more lingering feelings for Riley than he thought. Vanity Fair notes just 18 months after their divorce, Musk and Riley reconciled and married again. But it didn’t last, as Musk filed for divorce in 2014 on New Year’s Eve — though Musk didn’t follow through with the plan initially. He withdrew the petition seven months after the filing.
It was Riley who pulled the plug next. The Guardian reports she filed the petition after Musk. While the couple took time apart yet again to figure things out, they finally and amicably agreed to split for good. They divorced for the second time in 2016.
Despite scrutiny and questioning from the public, Musk and Riley remained friends through it all. They agreed to occasionally still see each other, though it looks like their romance did, indeed, fizzle out.
Neither Riley or Musk have married since — though it looks like Grimes and Musk are getting super serious. We’ll have to wait and see if Musk will walk down the aisle once more!
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