Why Did Elon Musk Divorce His First Wife, Justine Wilson?

Elon Musk is known for his innovations with Tesla and SpaceX. But he also has a notable string of romances. Until recently, he was in a three-year celebrity relationship with the tech-pop musician Grimes, and they welcomed a baby in May 2020. But that was far from his first public romance. Musk has been married twice, and he’s also dated Hollywood stars such as Amber Heard. But Elon Musk’s first wife has been the most vocal about their divorce.

The billionaire entrepreneur has described himself as a romantic who wants to find a soulmate. So, what happened with Justine Wilson, Elon Musk’s first wife? According to Wilson, their marriage wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Elon Musk first wife Justin Wilson wrote about her ex, shown here in February 2022
Elon Musk during a news conference at SpaceX’s Starbase facility on February 10, 2022 | Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Elon Musk and Justine Wilson married in January 2000 and had 6 children 

Though Musk felt heartbroken after his split with Amber Heard, it wasn’t his first high-profile breakup. He’d had a complicated relationship with Westworld actor Talulah Riley, and they ended up marrying twice. But Musk’s relationship with his first wife, author Justine Wilson, got plenty of attention.

Wilson met Musk during her first year of studying at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, she wrote for Marie Claire. She noted Musk was a year ahead of her, and he pursued her after seeing her from across the room in their dorm common area. Though they initially pursued a relationship, it wasn’t too serious, and they went their separate ways after college. Wilson moved to Japan for a year before returning to Canada. But she knew she still had feelings for her ex. Once he called her, the rest was history.

The two married in January 2000 as Musk’s net worth began to balloon. They ended up having five sons — twins and triplets — through IVF after the death of their first son at only 10 weeks old. But their marriage wasn’t perfect, and the dynamic between them began to change.

A ‘growing void’ formed before Elon Musk divorced his first wife

They had seemed like the perfect match, but Elon Musk’s first wife wrote that he acted like the “alpha” instead of her equal and delved deep into his work.

“It was a dream lifestyle, privileged and surreal. But the whirlwind of glitter couldn’t disguise a growing void at the core,” Justine Wilson wrote. “Elon was obsessed with his work: When he was home, his mind was elsewhere. I longed for deep and heartfelt conversations, for intimacy and empathy.”

A little over a month after marriage counseling, Musk served Wilson with divorce papers. The two are estranged now, but Wilson noted she got along well with Riley, who became engaged to Musk six weeks after the divorce papers were delivered.

Business Insider notes Riley and Musk remain on good terms after their multiple marriage failures — they tied the knot in 2010 and again in 2013. But they still couldn’t make their relationship work.

And though it seemed Musk and Grimes were in it for the long haul after having a child and moving to Texas, they’re “semi-separated” owing to distance and their careers, Musk told Page Six in September 2021.

Musk has admitted he can’t stand being alone

Though Elon Musk has more riches than he’d ever personally need, it’s true money can’t buy happiness. And it seems he fears loneliness more than anything else.

During a 2017 Rolling Stone interview, he got more personal than usual. He even asked the interviewer if they knew of anyone he could date. 

“I’m looking for a long-term relationship. I’m not looking for a one-night stand,” Musk said. “I’m looking for a serious companion or soulmate, that kind of thing.”

The interview took place right after his breakup with Amber Heard. “If I’m not in love, if I’m not with a long-term companion, I cannot be happy. Going to sleep alone kills me,” he added.

“It’s not like I don’t know what that feels like: Being in a big, empty house and the footsteps echoing through the hallway, no one there — and no one on the pillow next to you,” Musk said. “How do you make yourself happy in a situation like that?”

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