Court documents obtained by Insider show that tech giant Elon Musk was quietly having twins with one of its top executives, Shivon Zilis, last November. An outspoken advocate of bringing more babies into the world, Musk now has nine known children.
In April, 51-year-old Musk and 36-year-old Zilis filed a petition to change the twins’ names to “take their father’s last name and include their mother’s last name as part of their middle name.” The order was upheld by a judge in Austin, Texas, this May. (Insiders withheld the children’s names to protect their privacy.) The twins were born weeks before Musk, and musician Claire Boucher, who plays Grimes, gave birth to their second child as a surrogate mother in December.
Musk and Zilis did not respond to requests for comment.
Musk is the richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of around $220 billion. He heads four companies: electric vehicle maker Tesla, spacecraft maker SpaceX, tunnel construction startup The Boring Company, and Neuralink, the brain-machine-interface implant company Zilis works for. This year, it announced plans to buy Twitter for $44 billion, although the deal was delayed by what the Tesla CEO described as several unresolved issues. In May, Insider reported SpaceX paid a company flight attendant $250,000 to keep quiet after Musk claimed he had exposed and offered sex to her.
Zilis is a rising star in Musk’s empire. Born in Markham, Ontario, Zilis earned her BA in economics and philosophy from Yale in 2008, where she also played goalie on the women’s ice hockey team. A lifelong athlete, pictured on social media surfing, zip-lining and ice climbing. After starting her career at IBM, she joined Bloomberg Beta, an early-stage venture capital fund where she manages investments in data and machine learning. In 2015, she was included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the venture capital category.
Zilis met Musk through his work with the artificial intelligence research and distribution nonprofit OpenAI, which Musk co-founded in 2015. He serves as the youngest member of OpenAI’s board of directors. In 2017, Zilis moved to Tesla, where he was project director, and used his AI expertise in the Autopilot and chip design teams. Today, he holds the title of director of operations and special projects at Neuralink, of which Musk is co-CEO. He previously worked as a project director in the CEO’s office. He recently emerged as one of the people Musk could tap into to run Twitter after its acquisition.
During Zilis’ tenure at Neuralink, the company conducted surgical trials of Bluetooth-enabled brain chips on monkeys and pigs, using the brain of a nine-year-old macaque to play the video game Pong. Musk suggested that human trials could begin by the end of 2022.
Zilis lived in San Francisco before buying a home on a gated community in Austin in August, about three months before the twins were born. Real estate site Zillow estimates the home to be worth more than $4 million. Musk 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 Zilis listed the same address — the multi-million dollar home — in Austin. Musk is spending more time in Austin after opening Tesla’s new Gigafactory Texas on the outskirts of town.
Zilis shares many of Musk’s intellectual passions, including space travel, transportation and, above all, artificial intelligence. They seem to have a similar sense of humor – they both tweeted artificial intelligence puns and tongue-in-cheek references to Musk’s favorite cryptocurrency, dogecoin.
He became an ardent defender of Musk in the face of criticism. In 2020, when a California State Assemblyman, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, tweeted “F*ck Elon Musk” after Musk’s tweet about moving Tesla out of California due to COVID-19 restrictions, Zilis answered: “This makes me sad. No one is perfect but I have never met anyone who has taken more personal pain to fight for an inspiring future for humanity – and he has done so tirelessly for decades. Everyone has their own opinion but mine has one that I respect and admire more there is no one.”
—Shivon Zilis (@shivon) 11 May 2020
in August, he retweeted Photo of Musk with SpaceX technicians and engineers attaching a Starship to a Super Heavy booster, writing “Humanity’s history and future in one photo.”
Musk says he built his empire to protect humanity against what he sees as its greatest threats, such as the climate crisis, the encroachment of artificial intelligence, and more recently, population collapse.
It started sounding the alarm about falling birth rates in 2017. tweeted out“The world population is accelerating towards collapse, but few seem to notice or care.”
He reconsidered the matter. contention At the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai in August 2019 with Alibaba Group president Jack Ma. “The biggest problem in 20 years will be population collapse,” Musk said. “Not explosion. Collapse.”
Since the beginning of 2022, he has tweeted more than a dozen times about the problems of the Mongolian population. Hello on May 24 sent A chart from The Wall Street Journal showing a “fertility decline” in the United States.
“Contrary to what many think, the richer someone is, the fewer children they have. I’m a rare exception,” Musk said. He returned to that subject several times over the next month, adding On June 14 “So, I’m doing my part haha.”
Musk on June 17 tweeted out The opening scene of the 2006 Mike Judge comedy “Idiocracy” depicts a world where highly intelligent people are reluctant to reproduce, while low IQs continue to have extended families and make the Earth’s population stupid. “When I ask my friends why they haven’t had children yet (there are very few), it feels exactly like in the movie,” she wrote.
Experts are split on what our demographic future will hold. After years of concerns about an overcrowded planet further straining Earth’s limited resources, some research is starting to suggest that the global population may peak and then begin to decline sooner than expected. The average number of children a woman must have in her lifetime to be fertile at the substitution level or to replace a generation is 2.1. In 2020 as The Journal pointedThe overall fertility rate in the United States has dropped to 1.64, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. reported In 2021, the number of births in the United States increased for the first time in seven years.
Part of Musk’s concern about declining birth rates seems to stem from the idea that there won’t be enough people to populate Mars.
Tesla’s founder is an advocate of calling humans a “multi-planetary species”. He said that SpaceX aims to place humans on Mars with the Starship project by 2029. He views human presence on the red planet as “a protection against eventual extinction,” as he wrote in a 2017 article in the academic journal New Space. “
In response to a tweet praising him for his big family in 2021, Wrote: “I’m trying to set a good example! Population collapse is a much bigger problem than people think, and that’s just for Earth. Mars needs people badly because the population is zero right now.”
Musk’s first wife, writer Justine Musk, told Musk’s biographer Ashlee Vance that she “wanted to get married early and have kids.” In 2002, the couple’s first child, Alexander Musk, was born in Nevada and died of sudden infant death syndrome at just 10 weeks old. After the death of the baby, the couple turned to IVF treatment. Justine gave birth to twins Vivian and Griffin in 2004, and triplets, Kai, Saxon and Damian, in 2006.
This June, Vivian was given approval to legally change her name and gender. In her petition she wrote that she no longer wanted “to be related to my biological father in any way” anymore.
Following Musk and Justine’s 2008 divorce, Musk got married, divorced, and later remarried and re-divorced with childless actor Talulah Riley. He was romantically linked with Grimes in 2018. She gave birth to their first child, X Æ A-Xii Musk, in 2020. (Couple, change their son’s name is from X Æ A-12 to comply with California law.) In March, the presence of their second child, Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, was revealed when Exa began to cry while interviewing Grimes. Vanity Fair correspondent.
In the interview, Grimes talked about the complex nature of his relationship with Musk. “There’s no real word for it,” he told Vanity Fair. “I would probably refer to him as my boyfriend, but we are very fluid. We live in separate houses. We are best friends. We see each other all the time… We just have our own business and I don’t expect others to understand.” He also talked about his plans to have more children with Musk, saying, “We always wanted at least three or four children.”
The day the article was published, he tweeted, “Me and E have *repeated* separated since this article was written haha, but he’s my best friend and the love of my life and my life and art is forever on The Now Mission.” (He later defined “Mission” is “sustainable energy, making humanity a multi-planetary species, and preserving consciousness.”
Musk and Amber Heard, who were together for about a year in 2016, may also have embryos frozen together. During Heard and Johnny Depp’s high-profile defamation lawsuit this spring, Jennifer Howell, the boss of Heard’s sister, said she heard secondhand from Heard’s mother, Paige Parsons, that Heard was “in a legal battle with her over the rights of the embryos she had co-created.” “She wanted to destroy them, and Amber tried to keep them so they could have babies.”
While Musk speaks highly of paternity, he’s also been at the forefront of his limited role in raising his children when they’re younger.
“There’s not much I can do right now” He told The New York Times about his relationship with X Æ A-Xii as an infant. “Grimes has a much bigger role than me right now. There will be more of a role for me when the child grows up. I think I do what I do with my other children. If I ever go on a trip to Tesla, China for example, I’ll bring the kids with me and we’ll go see the Great Wall or Beijing.” We took the bullet train from to Xian and saw the Terracotta Warriors.”
Last week, Musk took his four oldest sons with him to meet the pope. After taking her children from Mirman School in Los Angeles, she founded a private school called Ad Astra (which means “to the stars” in Latin) with the children of some SpaceX employees.
Musk on Father’s Day last month tweeted out“I love all my children very much.”
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