Tesla Inc. and Space X CEO Elon Musk‘s first wife found out from their therapist that her husband was filing for divorce, according to the BBC documentary “The Elon Musk Show” that aired in October 2022 and shed light on the world’s richest person’s marriages and relationships.
“We were seeing a marital therapist and he got tired of the stress and uncertainty of it,” Musk’s first wife, Justine Musk, said. “The next day, I went into my therapist’s office and he had left a message for her to tell me that he was filing for divorce. So that was how I found out. One of the more memorable moments of my life.”
Born Jennifer Wilson in 1972 in Peterborough, Ontario, Justine Musk met Elon Musk when she was 18 at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Their relationship began with a unique first date involving a melting ice cream cone and evolved despite Musk’s transfer to the University of Pennsylvania. After spending a year teaching English in Japan and returning to Canada, Justine Musk rekindled her relationship with Elon Musk, leading to their marriage in January 2000.
Their life together, as depicted in Walter Isaacson’s biography and Justine’s writings in a Marie Claire column, was complex and turbulent. The couple faced immense grief with the loss of their first child Nevada to sudden infant death syndrome in 2002. They later had twins and triplets through in vitro fertilization. Justine Musk, a fantasy author, described the challenges of their marriage, including her husband’s demanding nature and their intense arguments.
Despite living a luxurious lifestyle, Justine Musk felt a growing void in their relationship. She described feeling like a “trophy wife” and longing for more equality and partnership.
During some arguments, she would express her hatred for him, according to Isaacson’s book. She wrote in her Marie Claire column that he sometimes told her he would fire her if she were his employee and called her names like “moron” and “idiot.”
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“I met him when he didn’t have much at all,” she told Isaacson. “The accumulation of wealth and fame changed the dynamic.”
“I didn’t want to be a sideline player in the multimillion-dollar spectacle of my husband’s life,” she said. “I wanted equality. I wanted partnership. I wanted to love and be loved, the way we had before he made all his millions.”
The marriage ended in 2008, leaving Justine Musk feeling relieved and ready to embrace a new chapter in her life.
Elon Musk’s second marriage to actor Talulah Riley occurred just six weeks after he initiated divorce proceedings with Justine Musk. Despite the turbulent times, Justine Musk expressed respect for her former husband’s visionary persona, reflecting on the impact of their relationship on her life.
These insights into the personal life of one of the world’s most prominent tech figures reveal the complex interplay between immense success and personal challenges, offering a glimpse into the human aspect behind a public persona.