Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk on Sunday rejected rumors yet again that his father owned an emerald mine in South Africa.
What Happened: Musk countered the claims saying he did not come from a particularly wealthy background and actually had a “middle-income situation.” Addressing that he “did not have a happy childhood,” Musk said, “Haven’t inherited anything ever from anyone, nor has anyone given me a large financial gift.”
Musk’s comments came in response to a Twitter user who disputed a tweet on the billionaire that claimed, “no money and graduated with over $100k in debt, despite scholarships & working 2 jobs while at school.”
The user said, “I strongly support the community notes and all this work, but in this case, I don’t agree! A student can face financial difficulties despite coming from a wealthy family. Additionally, the cited source is not reliable at all.”
In a long reply, Musk said there is no objective evidence for the “emerald mine” or any records of its existence.
“My father created a small electrical/mechanical engineering company that was successful for 20 to 30 years, but it fell on hard times. He has been essentially bankrupt for about 25 years, requiring financial support from my brother and me,” Musk said.
“Regarding the so-called ’emerald mine,’ there is no objective evidence whatsoever that this mine ever existed. He told me that he owned a share in a mine in Zambia, and I believed him for a while, but nobody has ever seen the mine, nor are there any records of its existence. If this mine was real, he would not require financial support from my brother and me,” he added.
Why It Matters: Musk has repeatedly discussed his difficult transition from being a student to becoming an entrepreneur. Despite this, there has been a persistent rumor that his father, who allegedly owned an emerald mine in Africa, provided financial support to him.
This speculation gained traction after Elon’s father, Errol Musk, mentioned in an interview that he used emeralds from a clandestine Zambian mine to fund his son’s departure from South Africa to the U.S.