Elon Musk worried about the attention Errol Musk was giving his stepdaughter when she was 15, according to a new book.
Errol Musk told Insider the claims were "balderdash" and said he was equally attentive to his kids.
Errol later fathered two children with Jana Bezuidenhout when she was in her 30s.
Elon Musk worried about how much attention his father Errol Musk was paying to a stepdaughter when she was a minor, Walter Isaacson said in his biography on the Tesla CEO. Over a decade later, Errol Musk fathered two children with the same stepdaughter, Jana Bezuidenhout.
"Elon was getting concerned that Errol, who was then fifty-six, was becoming uncomfortably attentive to one of his stepdaughters, Jana, who was then fifteen," Isaacson wrote of the Tesla CEO's views on his father's relationship in 2002 with Jana Bezuidenhout. "Elon became furious at his father because of what he perceived as his inappropriate behavior, and he had developed a deep sympathy — and tugging sense of kinship — for Errol's stepchildren. He knew what they had to live with."
Errol called the claims "balderdash" in an emailed statement to Insider.
"I was attentive to all five children in the same way," Errol said. He added that he tried to pay special attention to his stepchildren in the early 2000s, after they told him that he appeared to favor his biological kids.
"There was nothing uncomfortable. One afternoon I went into Jana's room to repair the dressing room light," Errol said, describing an incident he said happened in November 2002. "Jana had asked me to do this, but when Jana found me in her room she complained. I understood her concern and agreed to ask her first next time. That was it."
In the biography, Elon Musk's complicated relationship with his father is a common theme. His former girlfriend Grimes told Isaacson that Errol Musk in part helped warp the Tesla CEO's view of love. Today, Elon Musk no longer speaks to his father, according to Isaacson.
Elon Musk invited his father to live near him
Isaacson wrote in the biography that Elon Musk convinced his father to move with his then-wife and stepchildren from South Africa to Los Angeles in 2002.
Elon Musk purchased them a Land Rover and house in Malibu, Isaacson wrote. It was about year later that the younger Musk started getting concerned about his father's attention to his stepdaughter, according to the book. So the Tesla CEO bought his father a yacht on the condition that Errol Musk live on it alone and only see his family on weekends.
"I tried threats, rewards, and arguments to change my father for the better," Elon Musk told Isaacson in the book. "No way, it just got worse," he added. Elon Musk did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.
Errol Musk returned to South Africa in 2003. He told Insider that when his family followed him back to South Africa, they had to take extra steps to get into the country because his son had "taken their passports." The family had left the US without telling the Tesla CEO, Errol Musk said.
Errol Musk said he divorced Heide Bezuidenhout in 2004, which made Jana no longer his stepdaughter. He then fathered a child with Jana in 2017, when she was in her 30s.
"We were lonely, lost people," the elder Musk told The Sunday Times in 2018. "One thing led to another — you can call it God's plan or nature's plan."
Errol Musk and his former stepdaughter moved in together
Errol Musk told Insider that Jana moved in with him in 2014. He was already living with his 14-year-old daughter Rose, whom he had fathered with Heide. Errol said Jana showed up after a man she'd been living with had "thrown her out."
Isaacson said Elon Musk and his brother, Kimbal Musk, were "creeped out and furious" about Jana's pregnancy.
"I was actually slowly making amends with my father," Kimbal Musk told Isaacson, "but then he had a child with Jana and I said, 'You're done, you're out. I never want to speak to you again.' And I haven't spoken to him since."
Errol Musk denied in a statement to Insider that his son Kimbal was upset about the pregnancy. Kimbal Musk did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.
After Elon Musk learned of his father's relationship with Jana, he told Rolling Stone in 2017 that his father was "a terrible human being." In the biography, Isaacson said Elon Musk — who had been giving his father stipends of between $2,000 to $5,000 a month since 2010 — temporarily stopped sending the funds when he learned his father had a child with his former stepdaughter.
Errol Musk told Insider that he was "grateful" for the funds and only had to ask Elon for financial support once in 2022.
Errol Musk later had another child with Jana in 2022 and Elon Musk learned of the second pregnancy on Father's Day that year, according to Isaacson.
Insider contacted Jana by direct message on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and didn't get a response. Insider contacted her mother, Heide, on her Facebook and Instagram profiles appearing to belong to her, but didn't receive a response.
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