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What Elon Musk has said about parenting his 10 children

Elon Musk has many job titles — including CEO of Tesla and CEO and chief engineer at SpaceX, among others — but he also has played the role of dad to 10 kids.

The 51-year-old billionaire first experienced fatherhood, then sudden grief, with the birth and then death of his first child in 2002.

Following the unexpected loss, Musk had two sets of multiples.

But his most famous kids may be the two he had with singer Grimes because of their unusual names.

That is, until now. On Wednesday, a bombshell report came out that Musk had twins with one of his top executives at Neuralink.

But what has he said about raising his Brady Bunch?

Nevada Alexander Musk

Musk and his then-wife, Justine Wilson, welcomed their first son, named Nevada Alexander Musk, on May 18, 2002. The boy died just 10 weeks later from sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.

The new father rarely mentioned his loss but expressed his sympathy in an email chain with the father of an 18-year-old boy who died in a fiery Tesla crash in 2018.

“There is nothing worse than losing a child,” Musk wrote, according to Bloomberg. “My firstborn son died in my arms. I felt his heartbeat.”

Elon Musk’s kids pile up on his back in this 2017 picture shared by his ex-girlfriend Amber Heard.
amberheard/Instagram

Vivian Wilson and Griffin, Kai, Saxon and Damian Musk

Within the next five years, Wilson gave birth to twins, Griffin and Vivian in 2004, and triplets — Kai, Saxon and Damian Musk in 2006.

Vivian, now 18, recently came out as transgender and legally changed her name from Xavier Musk, including taking her mother’s last name. In court, Vivian said she “no longer lives with or wishes to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.”

Years prior to Vivian’s transition, Musk wrote in a 2010 op-ed for Business Insider about his public divorce from his children’s mother, Justine Wilson. Musk said that he paid his ex $20,000 a month for the kids’ clothes, food and miscellaneous needs on top of Wilson’s living expenses and nanny salaries.

“Custody of our five children is split evenly,” Musk said. “Almost all of my nonwork waking hours are spent with my boys, and they are the love of my life.”

Musk pulled his kids from private school and enrolled them at Ad Astra, the school he founded in 2014.

Meaning “to the stars” in Latin, Ad Astra started at the SpaceX campus, admitting only 50 students. Now it is an online school that does not have a grading system but teaches courses in artificial intelligence, coding and applied science, according to the website for the school now known as Astra Nova.

“The kids really like going to school,” Musk said on BTV in China in 2017. “I think that’s a good sign … They actually think vacations are too long. They want to go back to school.”

But in a 2021 interview on the Clubhouse app, Musk admitted that his kids were raised by the internet.

“Well, my observation is my kids were mostly educated by YouTube and Reddit, and then you know, and their — I guess — classmates,” he said. “And I guess there were lessons as well, but judging by the amount of time they spent online, it seemed like most of their education is actually coming from online.”

Griffin, Kai, Damian, and Sax Musk leave the Hotel Aman Venice - Luxury Hotel on July 2.
Griffin, Kai, Damian and Saxon Musk leave the Aman Venice hotel on July 2.
Cobra Team / BACKGRID

X AE A-XII Musk

Musk and his then-girlfriend Grimes introduced their son X AE A-XII to the world in May 2020. The internet went wild over the boy’s bizarre name, which the former couple seemed to disagree on how to pronounce.

On Instagram, the singer wrote, “It’s just X, like the letter X. Then A.I. Like how you said the letter A then I.”

However, Musk said on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast that “X” is spoken “like the letter,” while “the ‘Æ’ is pronounced like ‘ash.’ ” The proud father said that “A-12 was [his] contribution,” while Grimes came up with the rest of the baby’s name.

In 2021, Musk gave a rare interview discussing his newborn.

“Well, babies are just eating and pooping machines, you know?” he said.

“I think babies are super cool and really people need to have more babies because, it sounds obvious, but if people don’t have enough babies, humanity will disappear.”

He also provided a deeper look into his parenting style.

“Right now there’s not much I can do,” Musk said.

“Grimes has a much bigger role than me right now. When the kid gets older, there will be more of a role for me,” he continued. “I think just doing what I’ve done with my other kids. If I have a trip for Tesla to China, for example, I’ll bring the kids with me and we’ll go see the Great Wall or we took the bullet train from Beijing to Xian and saw the Terracotta Warriors.”

Elon Musk and son X Æ A-12 on stage TIME Person of the Year on December 13, 2021.
Elon Musk and son X Æ A-XII onstage at the Time Person of the Year event on Dec. 13, 2021.
Getty Images for TIME

Exa Dark Sideræl Musk

In May 2022, Grimes announced that she and Musk secretly added another baby — a girl — to their family via surrogate late last year. However, Exa Dark Sideræl Musk arrived when the couple was no longer dating.

“Grimes and I are, I’d say, probably semi-separated,” he told Time in December.

Shivon Zilis, 36, is the mother of Musk’s eighth and ninth child, Insider revealed on Wednesday.
Shivon Zilis and Elon Musk secretly had twins in May 2021.
shivon/Twitter

Twins with Shivon Zilis

Musk confirmed on Thursday that he fathered twins with an executive at his brain-chip company Neuralink just weeks before welcoming his second child with Canadian pop star Grimes.

“Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis. A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far,” he tweeted Thursday.

“Mark my words, they are sadly true,” he continued in a tweet rant. “Far too many people are under the illusion that Earth is overpopulated, even though birth rate trends are so obviously headed to population collapse.”

The twins’ names are unknown at this time, but their arrival brings the new total of Musk’s offspring to 10. Maybe they’ll be the first of his kin to want to trek to Mars.

In a 2021 interview on Clubhouse, Musk said that he would allow his kids to travel to the planet if they wanted to when they’re older.

“Although I’ve called them [my kids] so far and none of them say they want to go,” he said. “So they may change their minds but currently, they’re not chomping at the foot to go to Mars.”



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