MARRIED to a tech genius on her way to becoming the richest man alive, with her own thriving career and a growing flock of children, Justine Musk had it all.
But the world collapsed around her ears as a husband Elon Musk, filed for divorce in 2008.
Now, on the BBC documentary The Elon Musk Show, which starts Wednesday, first wife Justine reveals she was left via the couple’s marriage counselor.
“We went to see a marriage therapist and he was fed up with the stress and uncertainty,” she says on the show.
“The next day I went to my therapist’s office and he had left her a note saying he was filing for divorce. So that’s how I found out.
“One of the most memorable moments of my life.”
The three-part documentary on BBC2 also includes a revealing interview with the second wife Talula Rileywho was engaged to Musk just six weeks after filing for divorce.
The British star reveals how she was courted by the Tesla boss – who is now worth £200billion – with an invitation to watch “rocket videos” in his London hotel room and how he proposed in ten days.
“Alpha” wedding whispers
South African-born Musk was a bookworm, and his mother Maye tells the documentary, “From the age of three I thought he was a genius.”
Fiercely competitive, Musk met future wife Justine Wilson at Ontario University, where they shared a psychology class. In the final exam, she scored 97 percent and Elon 98 percent.
He and brother Kimbal founded Zip2, an online travel writing business, and archive footage shows the young entrepreneur taking delivery of his dream car – a £1million McLaren F1 – after selling the start-up for £276million and buying a personal fortune of £20m in 1999.
“Just three years ago I was showering at the YMCA and sleeping on the office floor, and now I have a $1 million car and quite a bit of comfort,” he says.
“I could buy one of the islands in the Bahamas and make it my personal fiefdom, but I’m much more interested in building and starting a new business.”
That new company was PayPal, which revolutionized online money transfers, but Musk, who married Justine after six years of dating, was ousted from the board on their honeymoon.
A workaholic, he took it as a lesson never to leave his desk, saying, “It’s not a good idea to leave the office when there are a lot of things that cause a lot of stress.”
Admitting that being married to Musk isn’t easy, Justine said, “You have to accept that you only get a little bit of him by spending time with him because 95 percent of his mental energy comes from those issues be consumed.”
She later revealed a darker side, explaining that as they danced at their wedding reception, Musk whispered, “I’m the alpha in this relationship.”
She claims he turned her into a “trophy wife” and pushed her to go blonde and stay skinny.
“Elon’s judgment overruled mine and he kept commenting on how he missed me,” she wrote in Marie Claire. “‘I’m your wife. I told him repeatedly, ‘Not your employee.’ “If you were my employee,” he said just as often, “I would fire you.”
Tragically, the couple lost their first child Nevada after just 10 weeks and had twins through IVF in 2004 and triplets two years later.
But their split in 2008 left Justine reeling and she later revealed that he texted her just six weeks later to announce his engagement to Talulah.
proposal in 10 days
Musk met Talulah at the posh London club Whiskey Mist while on a business trip to the UK.
“My first impression was that he was very cute, he seemed quite shy,” says Talulah.
“He said, ‘May I put my hand on your knee?’ and I said, ‘Ok, go ahead then.’ I thought it was pretty sweet that he asked.
“He said, ‘I’d like to see you tomorrow. Can we meet for breakfast?’ We met for breakfast and then he said, ‘Will you come and have lunch with me?’ So we went to lunch and he said, ‘Are you coming for dinner?’
“Then I remember one night he said, ‘Would you like to come back to my hotel room so we can watch rocket videos.’
“We went to his hotel room and he just showed me rocket videos.”
The then 22-year-old St Trinian’s star says she has little life experience other than “school and a bit of acting” but after her brief stint in the UK she was dying to see him again
After a whirlwind romance of just 10 days, he told her, “I don’t want you to go home. I want to marry you’ and she said yes.
“My father told my mother at the end of their first date that he was going to marry her and I think I was prepared to think that would happen after ten days. That’s love,” she says.
“I moved right into the house with the kids and it immediately became a very real thing.”
In rare footage at home, the couple are seen dealing with a meltdown of one of Elon’s young sons in very different ways.
After his brother snatches a toy from him, the boy sobs hysterically as Elon calmly argues, “Statistically, at any point in time, one of them in five children will be unhappy.”
In contrast, Talulah cuddles the crying boy and challenges his brother by asking him to return the toy.
Talulah also revealed that Musk suffered “night terrors” when his launched SpaceX rocket failed three times and his first Tesla model, the Roadster, was plagued with endless problems, leading to fears of bankruptcy.
“He was sound asleep and then all of a sudden in his sleep he was screaming, climbing to climb something like he was trying to escape,” she says.
“He gave me an out. He said, ‘This is going to be the hard part and you don’t have to stay for it’.”
At the height of the financial crisis, Tesla was forced to lay off a fifth of its employees, but Musk managed to reverse his fortunes by investing a further £36m from his own funds and borrowing from friends.
Talulah married Musk at Dornoch Cathedral, Scotland, in 2010, but they divorced two years later before remarrying in 2013.
“I think we got back together when we filed for divorce,” she later said.
A year later, Musk filed for divorce again before withdrawing the petition. In 2016, the couple finally separated.
“We took several months to see if being away would make your heart beat, and unfortunately it didn’t,” Musk said at the time.
“I still love her, but I’m not in love with her anymore. And I can’t really give her what she wants.”
After dating Amber Heard, he began a relationship with Canadian singer Grimes, with whom he shares two-year-old son X AE A-XII and daughter exa Dark Sideræl Musk (nicknamed “Y”), who died in December through surrogacy were born.
Court documents recently revealed by Insider also revealed that he has twins with a colleague Schivon Ziliswho were born one month before Y.
Unlike first wife Justine, Talulah – who is now dating actor Thomas Thomas Brodie-Sangster – remains close to her ex-husband and says they share a “very deep love and connection”.
“He’s a great friend. He takes care of me,” she says. “We’re in a happy place now where we’re good to each other, which is really nice. I have the greatest love for him.”
The Elon Musk Show airs Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC2
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