Elon Musk’s model mother Maye has refused to wade in on her son’s potential $44 billion Twitter takeover, insisting that the Tesla founder ‘should do whatever he wants’ when it comes to his controversial bid to buy the social media site.
Appearing on the Today show on Tuesday morning, the 74-year-old Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover star noted that she has attempted to advise Elon, 50, on his business dealings in the past, admitting that she urged him against diving into solar energy, electric cars, and rockets – but that he ‘didn’t listen to her’.
‘He should do whatever he wants. I told him not to do an electric car as well as rockets and he didn’t listen to me,’ she told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager.
Musk revealed last month that he had launched a bid to buy Twitter for $44 billion back in April, however he said earlier this month that the deal was ‘temporarily on hold’ while he attempts to verify how many spam bot accounts currently make up for the site’s overall usage.
Elon Musk’s mother Maye has spoken out about his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter, insisting that he should ‘do whatever he wants’ when it comes to the purchase of the social media site
The 74-year-old Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model spoke out about the Tesla founder’s business success in an interview with the Today show on Tuesday
Maye admitted that she tried to advise her son, now 50, against getting involved in electric cars and rockets at the same time but he ‘didn’t listen to her’
‘My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does,’ he said on May 13.
Musk has speculated that bots could make up at least half of Twitter’s users, more than 10 times the company’s official estimate.
But while Maye, who recently made history by becoming the oldest model to ever appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, refuses to weigh in on the subject, she did not hesitate in gushing about her son’s past achievements – revealing she knew he was a ‘genius’ when he was as young as three years old.
However, not everyone was so convinced by Musk’s abilities – with the model recalling how staff at a local nursery school ‘rolled their eyes’ when she told them her son was a ‘genius’.
‘Yes [I knew he was special from the beginning],’ she said. ‘At three years old I took him to the nursery school and I said, “I want to enroll him.” They said he should really wait a year. I said, “No, I have a genius son.” They rolled their eyes. Everybody.
‘Because he was shy, they didn’t see the genius, because I was the only person he had to talk to. That’s why I knew about this. He would reason with me but remember everything going on.’
Still, Maye says she never expected her son to become one of the richest men in the world – nor did she ever think he’d end up launching so many successful companies.
The model said she knew Musk (seen as a toddler) was a ‘genius’ when he was just three years old, but that others failed to see his intelligence because he was so ‘shy’
Maye divorced her husband Errol in 1980 when Musk was eight years old and she admitted that she went through a tough few years where she struggled to feed her three children
Although she knew her child was a ‘genius’, Maye (seen at the 2022 Met Gala with Musk) said she never could have predicted that he would go on to become the world’s richest man
Noting that you often ‘have a genius who sits in a basement with genius things but can’t apply it [to the real world]’, she credited Musk’s younger brother Kimbal with helping him to make a name for himself in the world of business.
The siblings founded a web software company called Zip2 in 1995, along with businessman Greg Kouri, which was later purchased by Compaq for $307 million in 1999. Through the sale, Musk received $22 million for his seven per cent share.
According to Maye, having Kimbal working alongside him helped Musk to explain his ‘genius’ ideas to the world, with the model and dietician explaining: ‘In the beginning, Kimbal was with him in the first company and Kimbal could explain what a computer is… what’s a curser, what’s a mouse, and the background as to why the program is so great.’
As a result of Kimbal being the voice of the business, Musk was able to shy away from the spotlight – refraining from doing any interviews, even when he went on to launch his next business, X.com – an online financial service that later became PayPal after merging Cofinity in 2000.
However, after selling PayPal to eBay for $1.5 billion, a deal that netted Musk $175.8 million, he was forced to step into the spotlight in order to try and create a public profile for himself in the hopes that it would aid his future endeavors in rockets, electric cars, and solar energy.
‘After he sold PayPal, I saw there was an interview with him, and I called him and I said, “Elon, you did an interview,”‘ Maye recalled.
‘And he said, “No one will sell me rocket parts because they don’t know who I am, I’ve never done an interview.” Because Kimbal would do it all.’
Maye also addressed her ‘difficult’ relationship with Musk’s father, Errol, who she described as a ‘nasty partner’ who would regularly ‘scream at her’. Errol is pictured with Musk as a baby
During the Today interview, Maye also opened up about her ‘difficult’ relationship with Musk’s father, Errol, describing him as a ‘nasty partner’ who would regularly scream at her – and explaining that she was left struggling to make ends meet after eventually leaving him and taking their three children with her.
‘[Raising three kids] is not difficult. What’s difficult is having a nasty partner, that’s difficult,’ she said.
‘I was always better off [without him]. I couldn’t afford things but I didn’t have somebody screaming at me.
‘It was hard to run away, you’re scared, you have no confidence, you don’t know if you’ll survive. But you can always go back to a nasty situation so you have a choice.’
Years after she split from Errol, Maye moved her family to Toronto, Canada, where she began working multiple jobs in order to support her family as a single mother.
‘I was doing any kind of job,’ she recalled. ‘I was lecturing two nights a week in Toronto where I would take two buses and the subway and then walk half a mile in snow – I couldn’t afford a good coat and I couldn’t afford shoes so you’re really quite cold – to give talks on nutrition.
‘And I used to say, “Life’s got to get better than this.” But I had to do it at the time.’
She added: ‘I had three kids to feed. I just had to get out there all the time. You get a lot of rejection and you just keep going.’