If you weren’t following the Met Gala red carpet on Monday night, you may have been confused by the world you woke up to on Tuesday morning. Rihanna is the pope now (honestly, are you surprised?) Cardi B is an Elizabethan queen, and Grimes is dating Elon Musk. This unholy union, striking in a sea of holy headpieces and Joan of Arc drag, was technically leaked on Monday by the devil himself: Page Six. “Sources” exclusively told the tabloid that the unlikely couple met about a month ago over a very involved AI joke (more on that later).
Apparently, when you’re dating the 57th richest person in the world, the Met Gala is date night. In red carpet footage, the 30-year-old Grimes appeared extremely comfortable with her 46-year-old boo, effectively shutting down any rumors that the two are just friends. The insanely rich CEO and his cult musician muse were easily the most interesting new couple of the night. Condolences to Shawn Mendes and Hailey Baldwin and Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart, and major condolences to 2 Chainz’ girlfriend Kesha Ward, whose red carpet proposal was upstaged by the Tesla dude’s love life.
Musk also revealed that he helped “sketch” his date’s dress, which begins to explain why Grimes incorporated a Tesla choker in her Heavenly Bodies look (as reporter Shira Tarlo noted, it was “the modern version of Angelina Jolie wearing Billy Bob Thornton's blood in a vial around her neck”). The Art Angels musician’s Hot Topic-in-space aesthetic may not have been exactly on theme, but Musk seemed quite pleased with their collab.
So how did this truly random couple come to be? According to sources, the couple met like all normal people do: through an elaborate years-long joke about artificial intelligence. The mere mortals at Page Six struggled to summarize this complicated meet-cute, explaining, “Thought experiment Roko’s Basilisk considers the hypothesis of a future where AI lords over the world and could punish those who did not help it into existence. [Musk]’s joke was to merge this thought experiment with a pun using ‘Rococo,’ referring to the ornate French 18th century baroque style, perhaps pointing out that both concepts are complex, too extreme and ridiculous. And while this takes some explaining, arty performer Grimes was already in on the same joke — three years ahead of Musk.”
In her 2015 music video “Flesh Without Blood,” Grimes introduced a character named Rococo Basilisk. “Elon was researching the idea of joking about Rococo Basilisk, and when he saw Grimes had already joked about it, he reached out to her,” Page Six’s source revealed. “Grimes said this was the first time in three years that anyone understood the joke. They were both poking fun at AI.”
When he wasn’t busy taunting Twitter with stupid ideas for spending his massive savings, Musk used the platform the way God intended, for shameless flirting. Mars-colonizing tech overlords—they’re just like us! In late April, he tweeted that he was listening to one of Grimes’s Spotify playlists. She replied, “glad ur finally listening to cyberpunk speedwae”; he retorted, “Sounds great riding my cyborg.” More recently, the couple exchanged another series of inside jokes (involving comets and cocaine?). When a stranger offered that Musk should just “ask her out already,” he responded with a dignified winky face emoji. Who knew there was such a short distance between an AI pun and getting a room?
In a way, it makes perfect sense that the man who has tasked himself with conquering outer space saves time by flirting with women on Twitter. Tweeting at famous people you’d like to sleep with is the dating equivalent of eating soylent. In the past, Musk has made his personal life very public on social media, announcing his 2012 divorce via tweet. “@rileytalulah” he wrote, “It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever. You will make someone very happy one day.” The couple went on to remarry and re-divorce.
Most recently, Musk dated Amber Heard, after reportedly requesting a lunch appointment with the actress back in 2013. Their on-again, off-again relationship also played out on the internet; after a year of dating and a rumored breakup, Musk left a compliment on one of Heard’s Instagram posts. When fans started wondering if Amber and Elon were still together after all, Musk clarified, “Btw, just to clear up some of the press storm this weekend, although Amber and I did break up, we are still friends, remain close and love one another. Long distance relationships when both partners have intense work obligations are always difficult, but who knows what the future holds.”
In retrospect, those were wise words. Who could have predicted that Heard and Musk would finally split up for good in February and that, three months later, Grimes would be the future first lady of Mars, Heard would be narrowly avoiding her ex on the Met Gala Red Carpet, and Musk would be “super, super serious” about starting a candy company?
Back in 2009, when a 21-year-old Grimes (birth name: Claire Boucher) tried and failed to navigate a DIY houseboat down the Mississippi River, could we have ever imagined this weird-ass reality? After her and her ex’s boat was towed and their live chickens were seized, Boucher told reporters that, “Even though it's sad this happened, it's still an adventure.” The more things seem to change…