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Elon Musk Secretly Fathered Twins With a Neuralink Exec Who Reported to Him

Shivon Zilis, an artificial intelligence expert at Musk's neurotech startup, gave birth to twins in November 2021. Court documents show Musk is the father.

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Image for article titled Elon Musk Secretly Fathered Twins With a Neuralink Exec Who Reported to Him
Photo: Patrick Pleul (Getty Images)

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, CEO of Tesla, and co-founder of brain-computer startup Neuralink, has been revealed to have fathered twins with Shivon Zilis, a Neuralink executive who reports directly to him, Business Insider reports.

The news was discovered through court documents filed in Spring of 2022, after Musk and Zilis sought to change the last names of the twins, born in November 2021. Per Business Insider:

“In April, Musk, 51, and Zilis, 36, filed a petition to change the twins’ names in order to “have their father’s last name and contain their mother’s last name as part of their middle name.” The order was approved by a judge in Austin, Texas, this May.

“The twins were born weeks before Musk and Claire Boucher, the musician who performs as Grimes, had their second child via surrogate in December.”


Zilis met the Tesla boss through her work with artificial intelligence research startup OpenAI, co-founded by Musk, who left his role there in 2018. She then moved to Tesla in 2017 before becoming director of operations and special projects for Neuralink, according to Business Insider. Neuralink, co-founded by Musk in 2016, is focused on creating brain-machine interface technology, using devices implanted in the human brain to communicate with computers.

A photo of Elon Musk with his hand on his chin.
Photo: Jim Watson/AFP (Getty Images)

At most American companies, a sexual relationship between a supervisor and a direct-report employee is grounds for dismissal, even when the relationship is consensual. In February of this year, CNN president Jef Zucker resigned after it was revealed that he had carried out an undisclosed romantic relationship with an employee described as “his key lieutenant.” In 2020, McDonalds fired CEO Steve Easterbrook — and later sued him to try to recoup his exit bonus — after his sexual relationship with an employee was made public. Most companies frown on relationships between supervisors and direct-report employees, because the professional power imbalance can never be completely disentangled from the personal relationship.

Counting the newly-revealed twins, Musk now has nine living children with three different women: five with ex-wife Justine Wilson, two with musician Grimes, and two with Zilis. The Zilis-Musk twins were born just a few weeks before Musk’s second child with Grimes.

Notably, Musk has repeatedly voiced concerns over the shrinking global birth rate. Whatever the reason, it seems to be a real fixation for the billionaire, who cites it as one of the biggest threats to humanity, alongside the climate crisis and rogue artificial intelligence. According to Business Insider:

“He began sounding the alarm about declining birth rates in 2017, when he tweeted, “The world’s population is accelerating towards collapse, but few seem to notice or care.”

“Since the beginning of 2022, the mogul has tweeted more than a dozen times about population issues.”


Some have speculated that Musk’s concern about population growth are related to his goal of establishing a human colony on Mars — an effort that would doubtless require lots of manpower.

I guess if you have enough money to singlehandedly fix humanity’s most pressing concerns on Earth, but choose not to, you’ve got to come up with a few new crazy problems to fret over.