Zilis, 36, reportedly told her colleagues that she was not involved romantically with Musk, 51. Instead, she conceived the children with him through in vitro fertilization (IVF), according to five sources close to the situation. Reuters could not establish the accuracy of Zilis’ account.
The top executive has worked as Musk’s director of operations and special projects at the neurotechnology firm for five years. The outlet also reported that Neuralink’s 62-page employee handbook prohibits relationships between supervisors and subordinates to avoid any conflicts of interest.
However, Neuralink allegedly accepted Zilis’ description of her relationship with Musk as non-romantic and has continued her role at the company. Sources also told Reuters that the two have continued working together since the disclosure of their having children. Most recently, sources said Musk had sent Zilis to arrange a meeting with Thomas Oxley, the CEO of Neuralink’s competitor, Synchron.
The Tesla CEO secretly had twins in November of 2021, according to court documents obtained by Insider. The children were born weeks before the billionaire welcomed his second child via surrogate with his on-again, off-again partner, the musician Grimes.
In May, a Texas court approved Musk and Zilis’ petition to change the twins’ name to “have their father’s last name,” and contain part of their mother’s last name in their middle name. Court documents also show the pair listed the same home address in Austin, Texas.
Zilis, a Yale-educated artificial intelligence specialist, began working with Musk through OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research nonprofit Musk helped found in 2015. She then joined Musk at Tesla as a project director, and went on to work at Neuralink, another Musk-led neurotechnology firm which designs computer implants to allow people’s brains to control electronic devices.
Elon Musk is a father to nine children with three different women. In 2000, the SpaceX founder married his first wife, Canadian author Justine Wilson. Two years later, they welcomed their first child Nevada Alexander Musk, who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) when he was 10 weeks old. They went on to have a set of twins — Griffin and Vivian Musk — in 2004 and triplets — Kai, Saxon, and Damian Musk — in 2006.
Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, revealed in a Vanity Fair profile in April that she and Musk welcomed their second child — a daughter named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk — in December 2021 via surrogate. The two are also parents to their two-year-old son, X Æ A-12 Musk.
In September 2021, Musk revealed to Page Six that he and Grimes have “semi-separated” due to conflicting schedules and locations, altough the singer explained to Vanity Fair that the two have a fluid, inexplicable partnership. Grimes tweeted later on that the two have broken up since welcoming their daughter — weeks after he fathered twins with Zilis — but “he’s my best friend and the love of my life.”