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Errol Musk, an engineer and reportedly a one-time emerald mogul, is the father of the world’s richest man.
Errol Musk, the father of Elon Musk, told British tabloid The Sun Wednesday that he had a second and previously-unknown child with his stepdaughter, Jana Bezuidenhout, in 2019—leaving many wondering more about the father of the world’s richest man.
Errol, who was born in 1946, also did not rule out having more kids in the interview. “The only thing we are on Earth for is to reproduce,” he told The Sun, echoing his (estranged) son’s position on having many children.
Errol Musk is 76 years old. He was an engineer and provided a comfortable lifestyle in the capital of South Africa, Pretoria in the early days of the Musk family, according to Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, a 2017 biography of Elon Musk by Bloomberg writer Ashlee Vance.
Maye Musk, his first wife, a supermodel and dietitian, said in the book that Errol aggressively pursued her, and she eventually married him in 1970. Elon Musk was born on June 28, 1971, and he has a brother, Kimbal, and a sister, Tosca. In the book, his family members recall Errol’s love for traveling with them, his keen mind, and his penchant for practical lessons, such as taking them to build sites related to his job.
However, it is clear there was a dark side. In a 2019 interview for Harper’s Bazaar, Maye said Errol emotionally and physically abused her. “He’s good at making life miserable–that’s for sure. He can take any situation no matter how good it is and make it bad,” Elon said in Vance’s book. Elon said similar things in a 2017 Rolling Stone interview, calling him a “terrible human being.”
Errol told Rolling Stone via email that he has been “accused of being a Gay, a Misogynist, a Paedophile, a Traitor, a Rat, a S–t” but that he loves his “children and would readily do whatever for them.” He told Business Insider South Africa in 2018 that he was “really terrible,” during his marriage with Maye.
Errol did not immediately respond to a request for comment through what appears to be his LinkedIn profile.
Aside from his relationships with his family, Errol reportedly pushed back against apartheid and served on the Pretoria City Council, according to the New York Post.
Other than being a very “talented engineer,” as Elon put it in Vance’s book, who was able to provide books, travel, and novelties like computers for his kids, the author noted, there has been some debate about Errol’s financial status.
In the 2019 Harper’s interview, Maye said Errol was “very rich.”
Errol has said he owned half of an emerald mine in South Africa, per BI South Africa, but Elon disputed that in a Tweet, writing, “He didn’t own an emerald mine & I worked my way through college, ending up ~$100k in student debt. I couldn’t even afford a 2nd PC at Zip2, so programmed at night & website only worked during day. Where is this bs coming from?”
While Elon was low on cash during this time, Vance wrote, his book also said Errol gave Elon $28,000 while he was building Zip2. The Daily Mail wrote that Errol was a millionaire by the age of 30. Errol apparently resides in Langebaan, South Africa, BI South Africa reported.
After Maye Musk, Errol later married Heide Bezuidenhout and had two children with her, according to Harper’s Bazaar. She had already had two kids, one of whom was Jana, who was four when Errol married Heide, with who he was with for 18 years.
Errol confirmed he had his first child with Jana in 2018, per The Sunday Times. On Wednesday, he told The Sun they had a second child in 2019. His daughters are upset, he told the tabloid. “And they still don’t like it. They still feel a bit creepy about it, because she’s their sister. Their half-sister.”
Jana did not respond to a request for comment on her Instagram.
Errol’s choice to disclose his two children with his stepdaughter, and his comments about population decline, (“The only thing we are on Earth for is to reproduce,” he told the tabloid) come several days after his son Elon tweeted, “Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis” after Insider reported he secretly had twins with a Neuralink executive, Shivon Zilis, bringing his total known kids to nine. Errol now has seven known biological kids.
“A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far,” Elon’s Tweet added.
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