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Elon Musk generally keeps his personal life to himself. Regardless, the Tesla and SpaceX head’s celebrity relationships have enthralled the public. And his many failed romances have inquiring minds wondering what went wrong. Recently, he and partner Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, confirmed their separation after welcoming a son in May 2020. But before the musician captured the billionaire’s heart, he was married twice. 

Musk met actor Talulah Riley soon after he divorced his first wife, Justine Wilson. And it proved to be one of Musk’s most intimate relationships, as he and the English actor married and divorced twice. So, what happened between Elon Musk and Talulah Riley, and where do they stand now? 

Elon Musk met Talulah Riley at a bar after his divorce from his first wife

Talulah Riley and Elon Musk at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Oz the Great and Powerful' on February 13, 2013
Talulah Riley and Elon Musk at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ on February 13, 2013 | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Musk admitted in a Rolling Stone interview that he never wants to be alone, and he adores the feeling of being in love. When it came to Riley, he was infatuated. 

Ashlee Vance’s book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future explains how the Tesla CEO met the Pride & Prejudice actor. And it was all thanks to a trip to London with a SpaceX investor.

Musk and the investor were out at a bar when the business mogul saw Riley for the first time. The two hit it off immediately. Riley explained what it was like 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 recalled. “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 noted that Musk wanted nothing to do with other women after meeting Riley, and their relationship blossomed from there.

They wed in 2010 and divorced in 2012

Elon Musk and Talulah Riley attend The Huffington Post pre-inaugural ball at the Newseum on D.C. in January 2009
Elon Musk and Talulah Riley attend The Huffington Post pre-inaugural ball at the Newseum on D.C. in January 2009 | Paul Morigi/WireImage

It was marital bliss for Musk and Riley in 2010. But only two years later, they decided to go their separate ways. Musk took to Twitter at the time to express his adoration for Riley, Forbes reported. 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? Musk told Forbes he “simply fell out of love” with Riley 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,” he 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 the two would remain friends, but staying married was “far too difficult. Every day was just too difficult.”

Elon Musk and Talulah Riley remarried in 2013 and divorced in 2016


Why So Many Fans Are Thrilled That Grimes and Elon Musk Broke Up

It seems Elon Musk may have had more lingering feelings for Talulah Riley than he thought. Only 18 months after their divorce, he and the Westworld star reconciled and remarried, Vanity Fair reported. But their reunion didn’t last long. Musk filed for divorce on New Year’s Eve 2014 — though he didn’t follow through with the plan. He withdrew the petition seven months after the filing.

It was Riley who pulled the plug next. The Guardian reported she filed a petition after Musk. While the two took time apart yet again to figure things out, they amicably agreed to split for good. They divorced for the second and final time in 2016.

Despite public scrutiny, Musk and Riley remained friends through it all. They agreed to see each other occasionally, though it appears their romance, indeed, fizzled out.

Neither Riley nor Musk has remarried — though it appeared he and Grimes had gotten serious before their separation. We’ll have to wait and see if he’ll get hitched once more.

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