Who Is Shivon Zilis? All About the Neuralink Executive Who Shares 3 Kids With Elon Musk

Elon Musk confirmed he welcomed his 12th child with Shivon Zilis, a director of special projects at Neuralink, in early 2024

<p>Shivon Zilis/X</p> Elon Musk and Shivon Zilis with their twins Strider and Azure.

Shivon Zilis/X

Elon Musk and Shivon Zilis with their twins Strider and Azure.

Elon Musk has continued to expand his family with Shivon Zilis, an executive at one of his companies, Neuralink.

The Tesla CEO and Zilis quietly welcomed twins, son Strider and daughter Azure, together in 2021 before confirming the birth of their third child in 2024. Musk is also a father to nine other children with different partners.

Zilis has previously indicated that Musk offered to be her sperm donor. She has also defended him against critics, including when he was criticized for calling California’s COVID-19 lockdown procedures “fascist" in May 2020.

Related: Elon Musk's Dating History: From Amber Heard to Grimes

“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,” Zilis wrote on X (formerly Twitter) at the time. “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion but mine is that there’s no one I respect and admire more.”

So who is the mother of three of Elon Musk’s kids? Here’s everything to know about Shivon Zilis and her relationship with the tech CEO.

She went to Yale University

<p>Shivon Zilis X</p> Shivon Zilis

Shivon Zilis X

Shivon Zilis

Zilis grew up in Ontario, Canada, but attended college at Yale University where she studied economics and philosophy, she told USA Today. While she was a student there, she was also a goalie on the ice hockey team and even tried to join the fencing team at the same time.

She and Musk met while she was working at one of Musk’s companies, OpenAI

Zilis specializes in machine learning and artificial intelligence. She started her career at IBM and Bloomberg, where she worked on internal startups and partnerships with new startups, before heading the venture capital firm Bloomberg Beta.

From there, Zilis moved on to working directly with AI. In 2016, she joined OpenAI, which was co-founded by Musk, eventually working her way up to be the youngest member on the board of directors. However, she stepped down from the board in March 2023, per The Information.

Zilis is an executive at Neuralink, one of Musk’s companies

<p>Walter Isaacson/Twitter</p> Shivon Zilis and Elon Musk with their twins, Strider and Azure

Walter Isaacson/Twitter

Shivon Zilis and Elon Musk with their twins, Strider and Azure

In 2017, Zilis joined Neuralink, a company founded by Musk that creates brain microchips to solve brain and spine problems. During a presentation at the Canadian Undergraduate Conference on AI, she called Neuralink the most “complicated but also fascinating thing I've ever encountered in my life."

"AI's going to be one of the fundamentally transformative technologies humanity creates, if not the most," she said. "And so we just need to make sure, from a humanity perspective, this goes well."

Now, Zilis is the director of special projects at the company and joined the board of Shield AI, a defense technology company focused on using AI for aircrafts, in September 2023.

She and Musk share three children together

<p>Shivon Zilis/X</p> Shivon Zilis with her twins, Strider and Azure

Shivon Zilis/X

Shivon Zilis with her twins, Strider and Azure

In November 2021, Zilis and Musk secretly welcomed twins, Strider and Azure, in Austin, Texas. The twins arrived just weeks before Musk welcomed a child via surrogate with his then-partner, Grimes.

However, the twins' births were made public eight months later in court documents published by Insider, which revealed that Musk and Zilis asked a Texas county court to amend their children's names to "have their father's last name and contain their mother's last name as part of their middle name."

The day after the news was announced, Musk addressed the birth of his twins on X, writing that he was doing his “best to help the underpopulation crisis.”

"A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far,” he wrote. “Mark my words, they are sadly true."

A year later, Musk revealed the names and sex of the twins when they were 16 months old.

In June 2024, the tech CEO confirmed to Page Six that he and Zilis had welcomed their third child together earlier in the year, though he did not share their name or sex.

“As for ‘secretly fathered,’ that is also false," he told the outlet in a statement. “All our friends and family know. Failure to issue a press release, which would be bizarre, does not mean ‘secret.’ ”

In Elon Musk, a biography by journalist Walter Isaacson, Zilis said that she originally was considering using an anonymous sperm donor to have children, until Musk offered to be the sperm donor himself.

“He really wants smart people to have kids, so he encouraged me to do this,” she said. “I can’t possibly think of genes I would prefer for my children.”

Zilis had a disagreement with Grimes, one of Musk’s partners

<p>Shivon Zilis/Facebook, JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty, Frazer Harrison/Getty</p> Shivon Zilis ; Elon Musk ; Grimes

Shivon Zilis/Facebook, JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty, Frazer Harrison/Getty

Shivon Zilis ; Elon Musk ; Grimes

After Isaacson posted an excerpt of his book in September 2023 revealing the names and sex of the twins, Grimes reacted in a since-deleted post on X, writing, "Tell Shivon to unblock me and tell Elon to let me see my son or plz respond to my lawyer. I have never even been allowed to see a photo of these children until this moment, despite the situation utterly ripping my family apart."

After deleting the post, Grimes apologized and explained that she attempted to keep her children private and has mended her relationship with Zilis.

“I spoke with Shivon at length finally, which was long overdue,” she wrote in a post on X. “This wasn't her fault, plz [sic] don't be angry at her! We respect each other a lot and we're excited to become friends and have the kids grow up together.”

Grimes explained that communication regarding the twins “wasn’t handled super well in the past,” but has since been resolved and forgiven.

“Women are so often pitted against each other,” she wrote. “Speaking with Shivon, it's very evident she's an amazing human and we both just want what's best for our kids.”

Zilis responded with a post on X of her own, writing that “at the end of the day it all ended up for the best!”

“Thank you for taking the time to really connect and understand each other,” she wrote. “So glad we had such a wonderful talk, was insanely overdue. You’re a total badass and I respect you very much as well. I can’t wait for kiddo play date and congrats on baby Tau as well!”

She is a private person

After she started receiving more media attention, Zilis made her Instagram private and deleted her LinkedIn. However, she still regularly posts on X, including videos of herself with the twins and Musk.

In one May 2024 post, she included a clip of Musk showing Strider around the Tesla office while she held Azure, who commented on how the background of the Tesla sign was purple.

“Cute to see their little minds at work,” Zilis wrote under the video.

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