Congratulations are apparently in order for Elon Musk: The Tesla chief executive had twins in November with Shivon Zilis, a top executive at his company Neuralink. The news of the twins’ arrival, first reported Wednesday by Insider, brings Musk’s total brood count to nine.
Court filings obtained by the outlet showed that Musk and Zilis filed a petition to change their children’s names to “have their father’s last name and contain their mother’s last name as part of their middle name” in April. One month later, a Texas judge approved the petition.
The twins were reportedly born just “weeks” before the SpaceX founder and musician Grimes had a baby daughter via surrogate. The girl is the couple’s second child. Her existence was also kept secret until March this year, when a Vanity Fair reporter sent to profile Grimes heard the “lone cry” of a baby upstairs.
Zilis, 36, is identified on her LinkedIn as director of operations and special projects at Neuralink, a neurotechnology firm co-founded and chaired by Musk. She began working at the company in May 2017, the same month she was named a project director in artificial intelligence at Tesla, where she remained until 2019.
An expert in artificial intelligence, Zilis met Musk, 51, in 2015. Insider reported that her work at OpenAI, a research laboratory co-founded by Musk. He exited his leadership role there in 2019 to focus on “a painfully large number of engineering & manufacturing problems” at other companies under his umbrella, including Tesla and SpaceX, Bloomberg News reported at the time.
Zilis has “been floated” as a potential pick to run Twitter should Musk’s $44 billion deal go through, Insider said. She often publicly engages with Musk on Twitter, replying to his tweets and in at least one instance defending him from critics.
“No one’s perfect but I’ve never met anyone who goes through more personal pain to fight for an inspiring future for humanity - and has done so tirelessly for decades,” she wrote in 2020, responding to a union leader’s “F*ck Elon Musk” tweet.
“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion but mine is that there’s no one I respect and admire more,” Zilis added.
Neither she nor Musk responded to a request for comment from the outlet. An attorney for Musk did not immediately return an email from The Daily Beast.
Musk, the richest person in the world, also shares a son, X Æ A-12, with Grimes. His offspring also include the two 18-year-old children he shares with ex-wife Justine Wilson. One of the teenage twins, Vivian Jenna Wilson, filed a petition for a name change last month, saying she no longer wished “to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.”
Wilson and Musk also used IVF to give birth to a set of triplets in 2006. They divorced two years later.
The mogul, whose net worth clocks in at roughly $220 billion, has crowed in the past about his prolific baby-making abilities. Earlier this year, he tweeted a screenshot of a Wall Street Journal demographic illustrating the declining U.S. birth rate.
“I mean, I’m doing my part haha,” he wrote in an addition to the thread posted less than a month ago.
In May, Insider published a report alleging that Musk had paid a SpaceX flight attendant a hush payment of $250,000 after she accused him of propositioning her for sex and flashing his penis during a massage during a flight on a corporate jet.
In response to the May story, the billionaire tweeted a crying-laughing emoji, saying: “Finally, we get to use Elongate as scandal name. It’s kinda perfect.”