How many times did Elon Musk marry Talulah Riley? Inside his stormy relationship with the 'Inception' actress

Musk and Riley managed to remain good friends in the years to come. Neither have since tied the knot though 

                            How many times did Elon Musk marry Talulah Riley? Inside his stormy relationship with the 'Inception' actress
Talulah Riley and Elon Musk arrive at the 22nd Annual Environmental Media Awards in 2012, at Warner Bros Studios in California (Getty Images)

Among Elon Musk's many accolades will be an SNL hosting gig that's airing on May 8. The Tesla founder has already drawn ridicule on Twitter for asking the social media platform to help him with his upcoming skit, but nothing matches the worldwide shockwaves he triggered with girlfriend Grimes, when they disclosed the name of their first child together - X Æ A-Xii.

It shouldn't have come as such a shock if people had tknown the businessman and science whiz's eccentric, whimsical past - the face of Tesla actually married and divorced the same person twice. For those unaware, that's how enthralling everything was between Musk and his ex wife, British actor Talulah Riley.


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Musk is a maestro at keeping his personal life private, or at least he tries. But Grimes aka Claire Boucher wasn't the only famous face he had been involved with. Musk and Riley's story dates back to noughties, the two of them having met shortly after his divorce from wife of eight years, Justine Wilson, in 2008. The Tesla CEO has famously spoken before about how he adores the feeling of being in love, and never wants to be alone. And in Ashlee Vance’s book, 'Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future', we learn how a trip to London with a SpaceX investor brought him and Riley together.

Out at a bar with the investor, Musk met Riley and hit it off immediately, notes Vance. In her own version of the story, Riley recounts meeting her then-future husband, saying, "I remember thinking that this guy probably didn’t get to talk to young actresses a lot and that he seemed quite nervous." So, she "decided to be really nice to him and give him a nice evening. Little did I know that he’d spoken to a lot of pretty girls in his life.” Musk was smitten with Riley from day one, writes Vance in her book, and wanted nothing to do with any other woman. Thus their relationship progressed and blossomed into a 2010 wedding, which saw marital bliss between the two initially.

Actress Talulah Riley (L) and CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Getty Images)

Just two years later, however, things weren't right anymore. The couple decided to go their separate ways; Musk tweeted at the time of this 2012 split how he still adored Riley, thus hinting at an amicable divorce. He wrote: "It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever. You will make someone very happy one day." Regarding what caused the split, Forbes claims Musk “simply fell out of love” with Riley after four years together. “We took some time apart for several months to see if absence makes the heart grow fonder, and unfortunately it did not,” Musk said. “I still love her, but I’m not in love with her. And I can’t really give her what she wants.” He vowed to stay friends with Riley, but staying married was “far too difficult. Every day was just too difficult.”

Musk's claims were however soon busted, when just 18 months later, Vanity Fair reported he and Riley had reconciled and gotten married again. This time, their marriage lasted for an even shorter time - from 2013 to 2014, when they filed for divorce on New Year's Eve. Musk couldn't follow through and pulled the petition seven months after the filing. But Riley took the initiative this time, filing the divorce petition once again, and taking their designated time apart to figure things out. The couple eventually decided a split was unavoidable and divorced for the second time in 2016. With public scrutiny over their twice married, twice divorced status, Musk and Riley managed to remain good friends in the years to come. Neither have since tied the knot though.