With each passing day, it becomes clearer and clearer why Tesla CEO Elon Musk is estranged from his father, Errol—and certainly, clearer and clearer why Elon grew up to be the kind of person who’d offer an employee a horse in exchange for sex and spam his timeline with anti-trans memes.
In a Sunday appearance on the Australian Kyle & Jackie O Show, Errol had a lot to say about his son—ranging from why Elon’s business dealings are nothing special to some unsolicited and, frankly, abusive recommendations for how Elon can lose weight.
When asked if he’s proud of Elon for his business and being a billionaire, Errol responded with a simple and ruthless “no,” before explaining: “You know, we are a family that have sic been doing a lot of things for a long time. It’s not as if we suddenly started doing something.” Later in the conversation, Errol states that despite owning an entire fleet of luxury cars, he doesn’t own a single Tesla.
In fairness, Errol does add that Elon has “surpassed the mark,” but also says of his son: “He’s not as happy as he’d like to be. Where he is now, he’d like to be there five years ago.” To Errol’s point, in December 2011, Elon promised he’d “put a man on Mars in 10 years.” We’re well over halfway through 2022, and all we’re putting on Mars is our own trash.
What I will say is that there are about a gazillion reasons to not be proud of Elon—there’s his well-documented mistreatment of workers, including firing workers for seeking parental leave, union-busting, refusing to pay factory workers a living wage, firing employees who criticize him, and the sexual misconduct allegation against him, of course. There’s the fact he owes much of his fortune to having inherited substantial wealth. I could go on. Nonetheless, not being proud of your child because you’re comparing their achievements to those of other family members is pretty much Toxic Parenting 101.
Another topic of discussion with the senior Musk was, for whatever reason, the recent photos of Elon vacationing in Greece, exposing a very pale, chest-heavy torso. I will go ahead and let the photos speak for themselves. “Elon is very well-built and he is very, very strongly built, but he’s been eating badly,” Errol said. “I’ve been telling him to take a sort of supplement I saw… something called garcinia cambogia, that does a lot to bring your weight down—it certainly did mine.”
It seems no amount of wealth you hoard can stop parents or any older family members, really, from making unsolicited comments and offering all kinds of nasty, unsolicited advice about your body. I think I’ve found the only relatable aspect of Musk’s life!
In any case, there’s certainly one reason Errol can be proud of Elon: He’s doing his utmost to populate the planet, a shared mission between these two men who otherwise don’t seem to be big fans of each other. Just last month, the world unearthed Elon’s eighth and ninth children—twins he shares with an executive at one of his companies. Around the time that happened, Errol, 76, confirmed his second child with his 35-year-old stepdaughter and is known to have six children in total, though he claims this number could realistically be much higher.
What a family!