News broke this week that Elon Musk had secretly fathered twins with Shivon Zilis – a high-ranking executive at Musk’s neurotechnology firm Neuralink.
The children were born in November 2021, just weeks before the Tesla CEO welcomed his second child via surrogate with his on-again off-again partner Grimes, per court documents obtained by Business Insider.
Shivon Zilis, 36, is currently the director of operations and special projects at Neuralink, a Musk-led firm which designs computer implants to allow people’s brains to control electronic devices.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Zilis is a Yale-educated artificial intelligence specialist. In 2016, Zilis joined OpenAI – the artificial intelligence research nonprofit Musk helped found in 2015 – where she later joined the board of directors.
Zilis then joined Musk at his flagship company, Tesla, as a project director working on the automaker’s computer chips and Autopilot program.
Although court documents show the pair listed the same home address in Austin, Texas, Zilis is actually native to Canada – similarly to Musk’s ex-wife Justine Wilson and his former partner Grimes.
While the SpaceX founder was born in South Africa and has lived much of his life in the states, his mother Maye Musk was born in Saskatchewan, Canada. Musk also spent a period of time in Canada where he attended Queen’s University in Ontario. There, he met his first wife, Canadian author Justine Wilson.
The two tied the knot in 2000 and two years later they welcomed their first child, Nevada Alexander Musk, who died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome at 10 weeks old. Musk and Wilson went on to have a set of twins – Griffin and Vivian – in 2004, and a set of triplets – Kai, Saxon, and Damian – in 2006. In 2008, Musk filed for divorce from Wilson.
After a string of relationships with British-born actress Talulah Riley and American actress Amber Heard, Musk began dating Canadian musician Grimes in 2018. The singer – whose real name is Claire Boucher – was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. Before the release of her breakout album Visions In 2012, Boucher attended McGill University in Montreal.
In May 2020, Grimes gave birth to her first child with Musk, a son named X AE A-XII. Although Musk revealed last September that he and Grimes had “semi-separated” due to conflicting schedules and locations, the pair surprisingly welcomed their second child in December 2021, a daughter named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk via surrogate.
The birth of Musk’s ninth child came just weeks after he had fathered twins with Shivon Zilis.
While the billionaire businessman is known for having a large family, Musk previously admitted that he plays a much smaller role in his children’s lives when they are very young. When asked by the New York Times how it feels to be father again after the birth of his son X AE A-XII, Musk said, “Right now there’s not much I can do,” and referred to babies as “just eating and pooping machines”.
“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 said.
In April of this year, Musk and Wilson’s 18-year-old daughter – formerly Xavier Musk – had been granted a name and gender change which she requested from the Los Angeles County Superior court. “I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form,” the petition stated.
At the time, Wilson said she was “proud” of her daughter’s decision to severe ties with her biological father. According to the petition, the 18-year-old will take on her mother’s maiden name de ella and officially be called Vivian Jenna Wilson.