Friday, August 14, 2015

Elon Musk, Talulah Riley

Larry Ellison on stage.
Larry Ellison on stage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have a theory or two about self made billionaires doing exciting work. If the work is exciting, they get interesting. The billions are just tools they need to do what they need to do. Plus, I guess you can buy things with the money.

Elon Musk seems to have had some bad experiences growing up in apartheid era South Africa. Looks apartheid was not just hard on the black people. That can impact you. And I am not sure therapy helps, although it might. But if you are simply focused on your work and are obviously good at it, is that focus a problem? Something that needs to be "cured" through therapy? I think not.

A prior billionaire also all over the map in terms of private life is Larry Ellison. So he is with his first wife. And they barely get by. She has a job. He does barely enough work to be able to help with the bills. And one day he goes ahead and puts a down payment on a boat. For a future billionaire, that is no big deal. But that sends the wifey into therapy. During one of the therapy sessions, when he realizes, maybe money is one of the issues why his marriage is so obviously breaking down, he blurts out he is going to "make a million dollars." The wife bursts out laughing. She thinks he is making it up to impress her. That was not his first divorce.

Both Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs were adopted. If you think that is emotionally vexing, there are always hungry children in Somalia, but I guess that does not help.

So Elon Musk's first wife goes on this tangent where basically she is invading his privacy. She blogs every detail of their life. Elon compares that to having to "eat glass."

His second wife I think is very, very pretty. They met in a bar. She approached him. She actually supposedly likes talking about electric cars and space travel. Maybe the guy talks about little else. He is in this zone. You have to be. Or you can't perform at those levels.

The entrepreneur is the ultimate minority person who qualifies for minority rights. There ought to be a Bill Of Rights for entrepreneurs. As in, if you work for Elon, and he fires you, no hard feelings. It was a work relationship. He was not trying to bond, exactly. No hard feelings. You perform, and you last.

I am intrigued by the home school Elon has designed for his kids.

I am happy for him that his second wife decided to come back to him because "there is no one out there even remotely close to like him." Better than one of Ellison's wives (ex) boasting that her divorce was better than her friends' marriages. She might have been talking money. I don't know.

Madonna said at one point, "My life is not a democracy."

An entrepreneur takes huge risks. People who go to work for them know what they are getting into. Especially for someone like Elon who is out there at the far cutting edges, he's got to push people so they do their very best and then some. This is not a Soviet job. You are not pushing paper, and digging trenches.

And to think he came so close to losing it all. That dip might have cost him his first marriage. The wife should not have blogged. Or she could have blogged about her hobbies, whatever. If the only reason you want to be close to him is so you can destroy his privacy, you don't deserve to be close to him.

One of Larry Ellison's wives, at around divorce, had a choice between Oracle stocks and the family pickup truck. She went for the truck! I guess Larry must have gone for her looks or something. She sure was not seeing anything in him.

My advice to Elon, if you have a wife who makes you ride planes, keep it. I mean, keep her. You like risks? Here we go. Seems to be the message.

Elon Musk: Myths And Legends: Be That As It May

Sustaining marriage for the 44-year-old billionaire entrepreneur and innovator is almost as challenging as developing his electric car Tesla, designing rockets that deliver supplies to the space station- SpaceX, or founding PayPal. ....... Silicon Valley tycoon, Elon Musk, called the Thomas Edison of our time, remains married to his second wife, Talulah Riley, after divorcing her once, marrying her twice and tearing up the second set of divorce papers........ Talulah met her man at London's West End club, Whisky Mist, in Mayfair in 2008 when he was trying to clear his head after divorcing his first wife, Justine Wilson, after a six-year marriage that produced five children. ........ Introduced by the club's promoter, Musk was aroused by the curvy, sultry-eyed actress who arrived with a girlfriend, wearing a full-length, flowing gown showing her 'dazzling figure' ....... 'She did look great, but what was going through my mind was 'Oh, I guess they are a couple of models. You know, you can't actually talk to most models.' But Talulah was really interested in talking about rockets and electric cars.' ..... They had lunch the following day and Musk told Talulah, still a virgin at 22, that he wanted to show her his rockets....... They met up again in Beverly Hills several weeks later and lying in bed together at the Peninsula Hotel, he asked her to marry him. He didn't have a ring so he suggested they shake on it and they did. ...... 'I remember him saying, 'Being with me was choosing the hard path'. I didn't quite understand at the time, but I do now. It's quite hard, quite the crazy ride'.......It turned out to be a baptism by fire. His divorce was not final from Justine, he was short on cash and his two big investments, SpaceX and Tesla desperately needed cash infusions. ......

He had intense nightmares that made him yell out, climb on her and start screaming in his sleep.

....... She saw him through a very rough period of borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars, burning through $4 million a month to keep his projects alive, borrowing from friends to make payroll and negotiating with investors. ..... He retreated within himself. He lost a lot of weight, bags formed under his eyes and 'he looked like death itself', Riley said. ...... 'I remember thinking this guy would have a heart attack and die. He seemed like a man on the brink' – that is until SpaceX metamorphosed from the joke of the aeronautics industry into one of its most consistent operators.' ..... she came back to Elon because of 'the lack of viable alternatives'. ........ 'I looked around, and there was no one else nice to be with. Number two is that Elon doesn't have to listen to anyone in life. No one. He doesn't have to listen to anything that doesn't fit into his worldview. But he proved he would take s**t from me'. ........

'Elon does what he wants and he is relentless about it', Justine said. 'It's Elon's world and the rest of us live in it.'

..... Justine knew all about Elon's miserable childhood and brutal upbringing in South Africa by his father who exerted some unidentified form of psychological torture. ........ Justine walked into their marriage knowing he was a tortured soul. ....... Growing up with a sister, Tosca, and brother, Kimbal, Elon wasn't interested in sports in an athletics-obsessed culture........ He spent his time reading. He often drifted off into trances and read too many comic books and then two books a day. He became the classic know-it-all who abrasively enjoyed correcting people, happily showing them that their thinking was flawed. ...... His classmates didn't let him get away with that. They loved to beat him up.
He was kicked in the head, shoved down a flight of stairs, kicked in the side, his head bashed against the ground until he passed out. It took a week to recover. ........ 'For some reason, they decided that I was it, and they were going to go after me nonstop. That's what made growing up difficult. For a number of years, there was no respite. ....... 'You get chased around by gangs at school who tried to beat the s**t out of me, and then I'd come home, and it would just be awful there as well. It was just like nonstop horrible'. ....... He escaped South Africa and landed in Canada where he had an uncle in Montreal. He worked his way across Canada and ended up at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. ........ Justine Wilson was a fellow student who 'radiated romance and sexual energy'. She had dumped an older man to go to college and figured that her next conquest would be a damaged James Dean sort...... Elon saw her on campus and went to work on winning her affections. ...... 'She looked pretty great. She was also smart and this intellectual with sort of an edge. She had a black belt in tae kwon do and was semi-bohemian and, you know, like the hot chick on campus.' ...... But she wasn't dating Musk exclusively and that drove him nuts. He wore her down, calling her insistently sending flowers, handwritten romantic musings........ By the year 2000, living together in Silicon Valley, she thought if she was going to put up with all his drama, they should be married and she suggested that he propose to her. He got down on his knee and did so on the spot....... They vacationed in December in Brazil and then South Africa at a game reserve near the Mozambique border........ Elon contacted the most virulent form of malaria that was misdiagnosed and mistreated which nearly killed him. A day later without the proper treatment he would have been dead. Six months passed before he was well again. ..... The couple decided on a change and to begin the next chapter of their lives in Los Angeles where Justine got pregnant. .......... She gave birth to a son, Nevada, who tragically died of sudden infant death syndrome at ten weeks. It broke Elon's heart and he grieved in private. ........ Justine gave birth to twins and then triplets within the next five years but that didn't temper Elon.
He was tough on the people who worked for him. If marketing people made grammatical mistakes in emails, they were let go..... Intimidating, he told employees, 'I want you to think ahead and think so hard every day that your head hurts. I want your head to hurt every night when you go to bed'. ...... He had tirades at suppliers who let him down and talked of balls being chopped off or and other violent or sexual acts....... He spit coffee across a conference room table because it was cold....... To dig Tesla out of its financial problems, he had to lose his entire fortune and almost have a nervous breakdown....... Leonardo DiCaprio begged for a free Tesla Roadster but Musk turned him down. ......... All the while, Justine blogged about the party scene, turning it into a nightmare for Elon who was called 'part playboy, part space cowboy'.......... By spring of 2007, the marriage was in trouble and Justine was suffering postpartum depression...... She felt she was treated like 'an arm ornament and couldn't possibly have anything interesting to say'. Elon had no respect for her writing. ....... She felt like a trophy wife with her team of nannies taking care of their five children........

By June of 2008, Musk was out of money and filed for divorce. Moving in with Justine's parents was not a viable option.

..... Justine went house hunting with Sharon Stone and blogged that the marriage was 'a good run'. ...... 'We married young, took it as far as we could and now it is over.' ........ The morning that Elon filed for divorce, he cut off Justine's credit card....... She continued blogging and fought for more money in their divorce settlement. She appeared on CNBC's Divorce Wars, and wrote a story for Marie Claire, 'I Was A Starter Wife'........ Elon didn't have any liquid assets at the time but she ended up with $2 million in cash, $80,000 a month in alimony, child support for seventeen years and that coveted Tesla roadster....... Justine continued to work out her revenge in her blog, even giving her views on Musk's new girlfriend and future second wife, Talulah........ It was the first time, the public got some insight into Musk's hardline behavior........ 'We were at war for a while, and when you go to war with Elon, it's pretty brutal'.
According to the author, 'the pair have continued to have their difficulties.'

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