One of Elon Musk’s children has filed a petition for a name change, declaring that “I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.”
The 18-year-old—whose full new name we are withholding for privacy reasons—wants to take on the maiden name of her mother, Justine Musk, who was Elon’s first wife.
The petition to have her gender officially recognized as female and her name formally changed on a new birth certificate was filed in California Superior Court in April, and there will be a hearing on it later this month.
TMZ was the first to report the filing, which suddenly began circulating on Reddit and Twitter this weekend.
The Daily Beast emailed Elon Musk about his daughter’s petition prior to the TMZ report and he responded, “She does not want to be a public figure. I think it is important to defend her right to privacy. Please don’t out someone against their will—it’s not right.”
Subsequently, several other media outlets, including The Los Angeles Times, published the news.
The Daily Beast could not reach Justine Musk or her daughter for comment. But the mom tweeted as the story began spreading.
Cathy Renna, communications director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, told The Daily Beast that the group “would never approve or condone the outing of a young person because they have famous parents.”
“One would hope this would be a wake-up call to Elon Musk, who has a history of making anti-trans and disrespectful comments particularly about pronoun usage. We hope that she finds support from other family members and knows she has a large community that supports her no matter what,” Renna added.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” came under fire in 2020 for tweeting that “pronouns suck”—even prompting his partner at that time, Grimes, to ask him to turn off his phone because she “cannot support hate.”
Months later, Musk insisted in another tweet that he “absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare.”
In other tweets, Musk has scoffed at the idea of gender differences, tweeting on June 11 that “we are simultaneously being told that gender differences do not exist and that genders are so profoundly different that irreversible surgery is the only option.”
“Perhaps someone wiser than me can explain this dichotomy,” he added.
At the same time, he and singer Grimes—who identifies as “gender neutral”—reportedly have adopted a gender-neutral parenting system for their two children.
“I don't want to gender them in case that's not how they feel in their life,” Grimes previously said during a YouTube livestream.
Musk has five children—twins and triplets—with Justine, who in 2010 wrote a scathing essay for Marie Claire about their marriage.
“He had grown up in the male-dominated culture of South Africa, and the will to compete and dominate that made him so successful in business did not magically shut off when he came home. This, and the vast economic imbalance between us, meant that in the months following our wedding, a certain dynamic began to take hold,” she wrote.
“Elon’s judgment overruled mine, and he was constantly remarking on the ways he found me lacking. ‘I am your wife,’ I told him repeatedly, ‘not your employee.’ ‘If you were my employee,’ he said just as often, ‘I would fire you.’”
After their divorce Justine, a successful novelist, went on to raise their children out of the spotlight, though recently she drew notice for appearing to tweet about the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp defamation trial, in which Elon Musk played a supporting role.