Elon Musk’s biographer Walter Isaacson has been sharing nuggets from his upcoming book on the billionaire and on Monday he shed light on how Canadian performance artist Claire Boucher, who goes by the name Grimes, came into his life.
The relationship between Musk and Grimes goes back to the spring of 2018 when the former was on a rebound following his emotional breakup with Amber Heard, Isaacson said in a post on social media platform X.
Isaacson described Grimes as a “smart and spellbinding” performance artist, and her acquaintance with Musk led to new children and on-off domesticity as well as a public battle with rapper Azealia Banks.
Incidentally, Musk spotted Grimes when he was googling to look for a pun about Roko’s basilisk – a thought experiment that states that in the future an otherwise benevolent AI could be incentivized to create a virtual reality simulation to torture anyone. It was then the billionaire found that Grimes had made it an element of her 2015 music video “Flesh without Blood.”
The two then connected through Twitter exchanges and then began directly messaging and texting each other.
Isaacson also recalled Grimes stating that their first meeting happened before this when Musk was in an elevator with Heard. The meeting was “super weird,” she said, adding that they were giving each other weird stares.
Following the Twitter exchange, Musk invited Grimes to visit him at his Fremont factory, where they spent the night walking the floor and watching him fix things.
The next night, Musk drove Grimes to a restaurant and showed off Tesla‘s Autopilot experience by taking his hands off the wheel and covering his eyes.
“I was like, oh s***t, this guy is f***king crazy,” she said, the biographer noted. As the car was signaling and changing lanes by itself, Grimes felt it was like a scene out of a Marvel movie.
At the restaurant, the Tesla CEO carved “EM+CB” on the wall, Grimes told Isaacson. Musk reportedly gave her a rapid-fire trivia test on the Lord of Rings to test whether she was a faithful fan. The Canadian singer apparently passed the test.
Grimes in turn gave him a box of animal bones she collected. Interestingly, the two used to listen to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History and other history podcasts and audiobooks in the evenings.
“The only way I could be in a serious relationship is if the person I’m dating can also listen to an hour of, like, war history before bed,” Grimes reportedly told.
The couple split in September 2021 after being together for three years and they are parents to a 3-year-old son named X Æ A-12 and a baby girl rumored to be born through surrogacy.
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Edited by Arnab Nandy