The essay has drawn renewed attention this week after the recent launch of Mr Musk’s biography.
Elon Musk’s first wife Justine Musk wrote an essay during their messy divorce proceedings in 2008. The essay has drawn renewed attention this week after the recent launch of Mr Musk’s biography.
Justine Musk, author and mother of five sons, wrote an essay for Marie Claire magazine in 2010 and described their marriage and how it turned sour. In the essay, she described “warning signs” even on the night they were married.
“As we danced at our wedding reception, Elon told me, ‘I am the alpha in this relationship,’ Ms. Musk wrote. “I shrugged it off, just as I would later shrug off signing the postnuptial agreement, but as time went on, I learned that he was serious. He had grown up in the male-dominated culture of South Africa, and the will to compete and dominate that made him so successful in business did not magically shut off when he came home.
“This, and the vast economic imbalance between us, meant that in the months following our wedding, a certain dynamic began to take hold. Elon’s judgment overruled mine, and he was constantly remarking on the ways he found me lacking. ‘I am your wife,” I told him repeatedly, ‘not your employee.’
“‘If you were my employee,’ he said just as often, ‘I would fire you.'”
In the essay, his ex-wife said that Mr Musk pressurised her to colour her hair even blonder. The relationship was put under great strain after the loss of their first son, Nevada, to SIDS. She then gave birth to twins and triplets.
“Nevada’s death sent me on a years-long inward spiral of depression and distraction that would be continuing today if one of our nannies hadn’t noticed me struggling,” she wrote in the essay.
The couple got a divorce in September 2008. Elon Musk told Page Six that he had offered Justine a settlement “equivalent to a pre-tax income of $80 million,” which she rejected, and he pays all expenses for their kids plus $20,000 (after taxes) per month. She also got the family home in Bel Air.