Elon Musk and his first wife Justine Musk split in 2008 after eight years of marriage
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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Elon Musk; Justine Musk
| Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty;

Justine Musk, born Justine Wilson, married future billionaire Elon Musk in January 2000 after knowing each other for almost a decade.

In 2002, the same year Elon's company PayPal was acquired by eBay, the couple welcomed their first son together. Sadly, the infant passed away when he was 10 weeks old from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Justine and Elon welcomed five more children together over the years before separating in 2008.

Elon has since gone on to marry British actress Talulah Riley twice, date actress Amber Heard and welcome two children with singer Grimes.

Though Justine and Elon are no longer together, they still maintain shared custody of their sons. Today, the Canadian-born fantasy author leads a private life with her children despite her very public ex, who she first met while they were both attending college in Canada.

So who is Elon's first wife? Here's everything to know about Justine Musk and her relationship with the Tesla and Space X CEO.

She met Elon in college

Justine met her future husband Elon while the two were students attending Queen's University in Ontario, Canada.

In a 2010 essay published in Marie Claire, Justine recalled meeting Elon for the first time during her first year of college: "A fellow student a year ahead of me, he was a clean-cut, upper-class boy with a South African accent who appeared in front of me one afternoon as I was leaping up the steps to my dorm. He said we'd met at a party I knew I hadn't been to. (Years later, he would confess that he had noticed me from across the common room and decided he wanted to meet me.)"

She turned Elon down when he asked her out

Elon transferred after two years to the University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 1995, but they weren't exactly in a long-distance relationship. In fact, Justine turned him down initially as he pursued her.

"He invited me out for ice cream. I said yes, but then blew him off with a note on my dorm-room door," she wrote in her post-separation Marie Claire essay. "Several hours later, my head bent over my Spanish text in an overheated room in the student center, I heard a polite cough behind me. Elon was smiling awkwardly, two chocolate-chip ice cream cones dripping down his hands. He's not a man who takes no for an answer."

Elon continued to send Justine roses even after he'd transferred, and during one of his visits back to Canada, she finally agreed to have dinner with him.

By graduation, however, the pair had gone their separate ways. Justine obtained a degree in English literature and later moved to Japan to teach English as a second language (ESL). After a year, she returned to Canada where she began bartending and working on her novel. 

As she recalled in Marie Claire, Justine told her sister that if Elon reached back out to her, she would reconsider their relationship. The tech entrepreneur called her up one week later. The couple reconnected and Justine moved to California to be with Elon.

She is a modern fantasy author

Justine's first novel BloodAngel was published in 2005 by Penguin Books, and she released her second book Uninvited in 2007. The sequel to BloodAngel, Lord of Bones, was released in 2008. 

She is also the author of several short stories. Her story "Smalltown Canadian girl" was published in The House that Made Me: Writers Reflect on the Places and People that Defined Them in 2016.

Her first son passed away at a young age

Two years after getting married, Justine and Elon welcomed their first child together, Nevada Alexander, in 2002. Shortly after his birth, he passed away from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

"Nevada went down for a nap, placed on his back as always, and stopped breathing," she wrote in her Marie Claire essay. "By the time the paramedics resuscitated him, he had been deprived of oxygen for so long that he was brain-dead." 

"He spent three days on life support in a hospital in Orange County before we made the decision to take him off it. I held him in my arms when he died," she continued.

She shares five children with Elon 

In April 2004, the couple welcomed twins Vivian and Griffin.

In her Marie Claire essay, Justine explained her desire to cope with the loss of her son by trying to get pregnant again soon after. "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," she wrote.

After Vivian and Griffin, the couple welcomed three more children in 2006. Justine confirmed in her 2017 TedTalk that the triplets – Kai, Saxon and Damian – were also conceived via IVF.

Justine and Elon tried couples counseling before Elon filed for divorce

Following what Justine called a "wake-up call" car accident, she realized it was time for a change in her relationship. Though Elon agreed to enter counseling, it didn't last long.

"One month and three sessions later, he gave me an ultimatum: Either we fix this marriage today or I will divorce you tomorrow, by which I understood he meant, Our status quo works for me, so it should work for you. He filed for divorce the next morning. I felt numb, but strangely relieved," she shared in her essay.

She shares custody of their children with Elon

In a Business Insiderop-ed published in 2010 titled Correcting The Record About My Divorce, the SpaceX founder explained how he was coparenting with his ex two years after their separation: "Custody of our five children is split evenly. Almost all of my non-work waking hours are spent with my [children], and they are the love of my life."

She got along with Elon's future wife

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actress Talulah Riley (L) and CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage) LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 11: Matt Petersen, Sustainability Chief City of Los Angeles (L) and Justine Musk (R) pose at the Annenberg Space for Photography Opening Reception for "Sink or Swim: Designing for a Sea Change" at the Annenberg Space for Photography on December 11, 2014, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Getty Images)
Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage; Ryan Miller/Getty

After Justine and Elon's separation, Elon began dating English actress Talulah Riley in 2008. As Justine shared in Marie Clarie, something "unexpected" happened. "Throughout the divorce proceedings, his fiancée and I discovered we liked each other," she wrote. "She is, by all accounts, a lovely, bright, and very young person, and better fitted to my ex-husband's lifestyle and personality than I ever was." 

Riley and Elon divorced in 2012 before remarrying in July 2013. The couple finalized their divorce a second time in November 2016. In May 2018, Elon went public with his relationship with Grimes, who he welcomed son X Æ A-12 with in May 2020, followed by daughter Exa Dark Sideræl in December 2021.

In her 2010 essay, Justine wrote that despite being "estranged" from Elon, she does regret their marriage or their divorce: "I've worked through some anger, both at Elon for rendering me so disposable, and at myself for buying into a fairy tale when I should have known better."