Elon Musk quietly gave birth to twins with an executive at his business, Shivon Zilis, last November, court documents reportedly show. Musk has been outspoken about bringing more babies into the world, and he now has a known child count of nine.
In April, Musk, 51, and Ziris, 36, filed a petition to change the twins' names to "have their father's last name and include their mother's last name as part of their middle name. The order was granted by a judge in Austin, Texas, in May. The twins were born just weeks before Musk and Claire Boucher, a musician who performs as Grimes, gave birth to their second child through a surrogate in December.
Musk and Ziris did not currently respond to requests for comment.
Musk is currently the world's richest man, with an estimated net worth of about $220 billion. He runs four companies: electric car maker Tesla, spacecraft maker SpaceX, tunnel construction startup The Boring Company and Neuralink, the brain-computer interface implant company where Ziris works. this year, he announced plans to buy Twitter for $44 billion, but the deal was put on hold due to what the Tesla CEO said were several unresolved issues and was put on hold. In May, foreign media reported that SpaceX paid a company flight attendant $250,000 to keep quiet after she alleged that Musk exposed himself and made sexual advances toward her.
Ziris is a rising star in Musk's empire. Born in Markham, Ontario, she earned a bachelor's degree in economics and philosophy from Yale University in 2008, where she also played goalie for the women's hockey team. A sports enthusiast, she has posted photos of herself surfing, zip-lining and ice climbing on social media. After starting her career at IBM, she joined Bloomberg Beta, an early-stage venture capital fund, where she led investment efforts in data and machine learning. She made Forbes' list of 30 under 30 in the venture capital category in 2015.
Ziris met Musk while working at OpenAI, the artificial intelligence research and deployment nonprofit Musk co-founded in 2015. She is the youngest member of OpenAI's board of directors, and in 2017, Ziris joined Tesla as a project director to leverage her AI expertise in the autonomous driving and chip design teams. Today, she serves as director of operations and special projects at Neuralink, where Musk is co-CEO. She also previously served as a program director in the CEO's office. Most recently, she was considered as one of the possible hires for Musk following his acquisition of Twitter.
During Ziris' tenure at Neuralink, the company has conducted surgical trials of Bluetooth brain chips in monkeys and pigs and enabled a 9-year-old macaque to use its brain to play the video game Pong. Musk said human trials could begin by the end of 2022.
Zillis lived in San Francisco before she bought a house in a gated community in Austin last August, three months before the twins were born. Real estate website Zillow estimates the home is worth more than $4 million. Musk has said his primary residence is a $50,000 modular home in Boca Chica, near SpaceX's launch facility in South Texas, but in court documents, Musk and Zillis listed the same address, a multimillion-dollar home, in Austin. Musk has been spending more time in Austin after opening Tesla's new Texas superfactory outside the city.
Ziris and Musk share many hobbies, including space travel, transportation and, most importantly, artificial intelligence. They also seem to share a similar sense of humor, as both have tweeted AI puns and tongue-in-cheek references to Musk's favorite cryptocurrency, dogecoin.
She has been Musk's defender in the face of criticism, and in 2020, when California Rep. Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher tweeted "F*ck Elon Musk" after Musk tweeted about moving Tesla out of California due to epidemic restrictions, Zillian was a great help. Musk," when Zillies responded. "This makes me sad. No one is perfect, but I've never seen anyone go through more personal pain to secure an inspiring future for humanity, and he's been doing so tirelessly for decades. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but mine is that no one has more respect and admiration for him than I do."
Last August, she retweeted Musk's photo of SpaceX technicians and engineers attaching a starship to its super heavy booster, writing, "The history and future of humanity is in this photo."
Musk has said he built his empire to protect humanity from what he sees as some of the biggest threats, including the climate crisis, runaway artificial intelligence and, most recently, population collapse.
In 2017, he began calling attention to declining birth rates when he tweeted, "The world's population is accelerating toward collapse, but few people seem to notice or care."
In August 2019, at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, Musk said again, "The biggest problem in 20 years will be population collapse. Not a population explosion, but a collapse."
Since the beginning of 2022, the tech mogul has tweeted more than a dozen times about population issues, and on May 24, he posted an image from the Wall Street Journal showing "low fertility" in the U.S.
Musk said, "Contrary to what many people think, the richer a person is, the fewer children they have. I'm one of the rare exceptions." He touched on the topic several times over the next month, adding on June 14, "I mean, I'm doing my part, haha."
On June 17, Musk tweeted the opening scene of "Idiocracy," a 2006 comedy directed by Mike Judge that depicts a world in which people with high IQs are reluctant to procreate, while people with low IQs continue to have large numbers of family members, making the planet's population dumber and dumber. He writes, "When I asked my friends why they weren't having kids yet (few of them were), it sounded exactly like the movie."
Experts have differing views on the future course of the population. After years of concern about an overcrowded planet further exacerbating the planet's finite resources, some studies are beginning to suggest that the global population could peak and then begin to decline sooner than expected. The replacement-level fertility rate (the average number of children a woman needs to have in her lifetime to enable a generation to replace herself) is 2.1. As the media points out, the total fertility rate in the U.S. falls to 1.64 in 2020, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of births in the U.S. rises for the first time in seven years in 2021.
Part of Musk's concern about the declining birth rate seems to stem from the idea that there may not be enough humans in the future to migrate to Mars.
The Tesla founder advocates making humans what he calls a "multi-planetary species. He has said that SpaceX aims to send humans to Mars by 2029 through its Starship program. As he wrote in a 2017 paper published in the academic journal NewSpace, he sees the human presence on the Red Planet as a guarantee of "some eventual extinction event.
In response to a 2021 tweet praising his large family, he wrote: "I'm trying to set a good example! Population collapse is a much bigger problem than people realize, and that's just on Earth. There is a great need for people on Mars, because the population there is currently zero."
Musk's first wife, author Justine Musk, told Musk's biographer Ashlee Vance that he "wanted to get married and have kids sooner." In 2002, the couple had their first child, Nevada Alexander Musk, who was born on the planet. (Nevada Alexander Musk,) who died of sudden infant death syndrome at just 10 weeks. After the baby's death, the couple turned to in vitro fertilization. Justin gave birth to twins, Vivian and Griffin, in 2004 and then triplets, Kai, Saxon and Damian, in 2006.
In June of this year, Vivian received approval to legally change her name and gender. In her application, she wrote that she no longer wanted to be "related in any way to my biological father.
After Musk and Justin divorced in 2008, Musk remarried and divorced, then remarried actress Talulah Riley, with whom Musk has no children. 2018 saw him have a romantic relationship with Grimes. She gave birth to their first child in 2020. their second child was revealed in March, when the child began crying during an interview with a Vanity Fair reporter.
In the interview, Grimes described her complicated relationship with Musk. There's no real word to describe the relationship," she told Vanity Fair. I might refer to him as my boyfriend, but we had a very volatile relationship. We live in different houses. We're best friends. We see each other a lot ....... We just have our own thing going on and I don't expect anyone else to understand it." She also spoke about plans to have more children with Musk, saying, "We've always wanted to have at least three or four kids."
On the day the article was published, she tweeted, "Since this article was published, E and I have broken up again, haha, but he is my best friend and the love of my life, and my life and art are now forever dedicated to 'The Mission.'" She then explained the mission as "sustainable energy, making humans a multi-planet species and conservation awareness.
Musk and Amber Heard, who may have also frozen embryos together, dated for about a year- in 2016. During Heard and Johnny Depp's high-profile defamation trial this spring, Jennifer Howell, Heard's sister's boss, testified that she heard from Heard's mother, Paige Parsons, that Heard was "in a legal battle with him over their joint legal battle over the rights to the embryos they created together," adding that "he wanted to destroy them, while Amber tried to keep them to have children."
Despite his respect for fatherhood, Musk has also been outspoken about the limited role he played in caring for his children when they were young.
There's not much I can do right now," he has said in interviews, "Grimes has a much bigger role than I do right now. When the kids get older, I'll play a bigger role. I want to just do what I've done with other kids. For example, if I had a trip to China for Tesla, I would take the kids and we would go see the Great Wall, or we would train from Beijing to Xi'an and see the Terracotta Warriors."
Last week, Musk took his four eldest sons with him to meet the Pope. After letting his children leave the Millman School in Los Angeles, he co-founded a special school, Ad Astra (Latin for "to the stars"), with some of the children of SpaceX employees to educate them.
On Father's Day last month, Musk tweeted, "I love all my kids so much."