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For those who want to know the extent of my golddigging, this is what I asked for, from my ex-husband and the father of my five children Elon Musk, who is a billionaire* and utterly brilliant.

The house
alimony and child support
6 million cash
10 percent of his stock in Tesla
5 percent of his stock in SpaceX
(and he retains all voting rights)
and a Tesla Roadster (I really, really want one...)

Is that what I deserve? I don't know. Who exactly deserves that kind of wealth? But based on our life and history together, is that reasonable? I think so. And I want to do good things with it (and bring my parents down from Canada so that they can live near their grandchildren).

People ask me why he won't settle. I can't answer that (or rather, I could try, but I won't).

At any rate, I shall now turn my attention to other things.

* albeit with cash/liquidity issues, which I would work with him to work around
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( 159 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 8th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
I think you're being more than reasonable.
May. 22nd, 2010 03:56 am (UTC)
Lazy Bum
Sigh! Have you considered making something of your life on your own instead of lusting after his money?

If you guys don't like each other, just get the hell out of each other's lives. You are being totally whiny and unreasonable. Whatever money Elon has, he has earned it through his own hard work. Yes, a woman's support can sometimes be critical but, clearly that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
Re: Lazy Bum - moschus - May. 22nd, 2010 04:07 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
Sigh. Though at a different scope and scale, there were still substantial assets in play in calendula_witch's recent divorce. His attitude was that he'd made all the money with his education and hard work, and she should just do the decent thing and walk away. As I told her, if they settled for a dollar, he'd mourn the dollar more than he'd mourn her.

I'm sorry.
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
your are right
if they settled for a dollar, he'd mourn the dollar more than he'd mourn her.
May. 8th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
You've been very generous-minded through all this.

I would think a man of his standing would want to be fair to the mother of his children, but I guess it's become all about points and winning.

I'm sorry you're going through this, too.
May. 8th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
You're being much more than reasonable, Justine. And despite whatever he feels for you, the kids should be a bigger consideration for him than they seem to be. In his place, with his resources, I'd give the mother of my children much, much more. And he owes you, at the VERY least, more respect than this.

Hang in there. Love you. Eggs Benedict should be in our future. ;)
May. 8th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Why are the richest, most powerful people so often miserly in spirit?
Justine, considering all the wealth and resources Elon has at his fingertips, and considering all you two have been to each other, from joy to the most profound heartache anyone could suffer, it seems to me that you deserve even more than what you're already quite rightly asking for. Feh, the bum should be reduced to spending the rest of his heartless, selfish life in dire poverty and homelessness, without even a friend to put him up on an uncomfortable old couch! Wish I had the resources to do more than root for you, Justine, but for what it's worth, all of us here at Team Bartilucci are in your corner and hoping and praying that everything works out for you and your kids!
May. 8th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Why are the richest, most powerful people so often miserly in spirit?
By the way, Justine, this post came from me, Dorian! For some reason, LiveJournal didn't recognize my username. Go figure! :-)
May. 8th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
I too think that you're being MORE than reasonable. You're taking care of his children.

Powerful men are funny. They like to "win". And for it to prove their "superiority". If they "win big" then it proves who they are. It's that ego that allows them to be so successful but is dysfunctional in other settings. That's my view from being thoughtfully married to a powerful and narcissistic husband. Trumps rationality, care for the kids, and all other less urgent concerns.
May. 8th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
Above Anonymous Comment from Me (Olivia)
Sorry I left an anonymous comment unintentionally; I hate that!
May. 8th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
it's not a bad request. You do have five kids to support. I wish he could see it that way.
May. 8th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
Well I for one think you're being completely unrealistic.
Not everyone can have a Tesla Roadster.

Agree with the above comments. If this has gone a year and will go another year, he'll have to approach that $6M in legal fees and lost time. And in this case the negative advertising IS negative and could cause him all kinds of problems from what I understand. It's just cutting of his nose to spike his face.

Of course now I'm dying to know what he offered and has come down on 5% a day on since. That one really cracked me up. As someone who negotiates complicated deals every day, I can tell you that to say you're going to do that and actually do it are two different things. Can you say patriarchal?

Here's hoping RD Jr did NOT base his latest performance off that of E!
May. 8th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
Seems completely reasonable. You are showing gobs and gobs of (undue) respect, and more than a little class.

My situation is far more mundane, and on a far smaller scale, but when I told my ex that he would, in fact, HAVE to pay child support, because the state of Iowa requires that the partner with the higher income pay child support, and not because I'm a horrible human being, he replied, "Well, I could always pay you the child support and then you could give it back to me. The court wouldn't know." I looked at him like he was crazy, and he continued to look at me like I was a horrible human being.

Forget the ubiquitous "woman scorned" - Hell hath no fury like a man who can't get his way in every detail...
May. 8th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
He didn't give you a Roadster already? Dude! Just goes to show that you can be really rich and have absolutely no class.

I'm not an Elon-hater but I swear, for such as supposedly bright guy, he sure makes some dumb moves at times.

Best of luck,


May. 8th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
6 million??? That is chump change to him! 6 million does not cover the mental abuse he has caused upon you. How can one put a price on that? Only an a**hole that cares about ONE thing... his money! When someone defines themselves by their money ( because they are so insecure and has been able to buy friendship and adoration) that is the only thing they hold dear in life. It is like an alcoholic... You become in a relationship with alcohol and everything else is like a mistress. His money and work is his wife everything and everyone else is a mistress.

He is probably paying off the judge and lawyers so they side with him. Don't you think he'd just want to settle so him and his fiance can get married? Why is she not pressing him to just settle so they can live happily ever after? Oh, because he is a narcissist that lacks empathy and can't imagine the fact of losing control of you.

Question- what the hell is wrong with his current fiance for thinking he is a good guy? Does she not follow this? What about her parents?
May. 8th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
How do you calcuate fairness?
Thanks for bringing transparency to what's normally a behind-closed-doors process. Fascinating.

Is your contribution to that wealth creation one factor in determining fair numbers?

When you say 10% of Tesla, is that simply trying to arrive at a total number or based on some other formula driven by your contribution to building the company (even if thru emotional support)?

Or is the only way you calculate "fair" what you think you will need to support your family and desired lifestyle?

-- Ben Casnocha (officially anon because don't have an LJ account!)
May. 8th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
Re: How do you calcuate fairness?
NOT ten percent of Tesla. Ten percent of his stock in Tesla.

In this case, the percentage was fitted into a total package deemed "fair" based on various recommendations, the particular context of us and circumstances involved. In other words, it doesn't have to be stock necessarily. You could take away stock and put in more cash. Or vice versa.

This is life and marriage, Ben, and although there are formulas involved it can't be cut and dried so easily. The court puts greater emphasis on the responsibility the more powerful partner owes toward the less powerful partner; Silicon Valley, in contrast, is very concerned about what that less powerful partner has "earned". I think you can arrive at a place between the two -- you just need a point where one person's idea of 'fair' overlaps with the other person's idea of 'fair' and that hasn't happened with us.
Re: How do you calcuate fairness? - ext_237552 - Jun. 22nd, 2010 07:51 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: How do you calcuate fairness? - moschus - Jun. 22nd, 2010 08:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: How do you calcuate fairness? - ext_237552 - Jun. 22nd, 2010 01:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: How do you calcuate fairness? - (Anonymous) - Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 9th, 2010 03:23 am (UTC)
He won't give you 6 million?!? Seriously? I don't get it.....

He had six children with you. You married him before he had money. I know you are just as perplexed as I am and I am stating the obvious. I am praying that he has a change of heart and understands that this isn't "business".

His treatment of you directly affects his children, regardless of how you do or do not "involve" them in the divorce process. It is the sort of energy he shouldn't regret when he's old and gray. Why not be generous with you if that's how he needs to think of it? I hope his lawyers call tomorrow and ask if you'll still take all you've asked for.

May. 9th, 2010 03:34 am (UTC)
Tesla and SpaceX
I agree with everything on the list except the stakes in Tesla and SpaceX. If I were him my shares in these companies would be worth a lot more to me than money. What is reasonable to me is asking for more cash but no stake of Tesla or SpaceX.

And you do deserve the Roadster. :)

May. 9th, 2010 04:27 am (UTC)
Re: Tesla and SpaceX
He agrees with you, except he thinks I should ask for much *less* cash (and no shares whatsoever).
Re: Tesla and SpaceX - (Anonymous) - Jul. 4th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
May. 9th, 2010 11:23 am (UTC)
what you're asking for sounds completely reasonable, considering how much he actually is worth. The money, properly managed, will easily see you through the rest of your life (along with your own book royalties, though I'm sure they are dwarfed by his money). The child support will allow HIS children to be taken care of in the manner in which they have become accustomed, and the stock allows you some security.

He really needs to look at this as an investment. It's money he won't even miss.

I'm sorry he's being so stubborn. I know this stuff takes a toll on everyone involved. My sister (though we're talking about much less money) goes through this crap with her ex over my nephew's...everything. In that case she's got the money and it's an argument over where he'll go to school (she's paying for a private school he doesn't like) or just anything, because he's a total control freak. It's never about his child, but about him being in control.

Good luck, try to take some time and relax :)
May. 18th, 2010 05:03 am (UTC)
...perhaps we can vacation together in the British Virgin Islands and just get drunk and not think about all the complications...Dude can come along, I don't care
May. 9th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
I don't know you at all but I like reading what you write here, and of course it's always the writer's curse to be in one-sided relationships: you take your readers on guided tours of your psyche but they're not in a position to return the hospitality.

I worry about your posting things like this to a public forum. I think it makes you seem defensive and you don't need to be.
May. 9th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
Remember: a narcissist behaves cruelly because he can't feel your pain; a healthy person behaves cruelly because he can feel your pain. My memory from an earlier post is that Elon warned you that this was going to hurt. He appears to be keeping his promise.

People commenting here seem to think your offer is "reasonable" because it's small. But I doubt that Elon, any of his lawyers, any of your lawyers, or the judge have used the word "reasonable" at all. The law substitutes contracts for subjective ideas people have about what's reasonable and what's not. You're not honoring the terms of your post-nup contract. That's not "reasonable."

I assume this post (which I also assume your attorneys signed off on) is intended to influence the only people who have real power over Elon: his financial partners. It's smart to not ask for stock in common shares, but even if you take preferred shares, 10% is a sizable percentage -- a financial backer who assumes you're hostile to Elon could see you partnering with other dissatisfied stockholders to gain control of the company. You signal here, though, that you'd trade stock for cash. I think that's a smart play.

There's been lots of speculation in the press about whether this divorce would hobble Elon's ability to finance his companies. This blog post will certainly put that to rest. But is that the right move? Wouldn't it be better to fuel those fears to bring outside pressure to bear on Elon? Your lawyers seem to think that getting the law around post-nuptial agreements clarified is the most reliable path, and that making it clear to Elon's attorneys that this whole thing can be inexpensively resolved will appeal to their path-of-least-resistance reasoning. But Elon has made it clear that he's happy to spend six million to keep you from getting six million, so it sounds like from his perspective the size of your offer is irrelevant. And as you've said before, he's been proven right so many times before that there's no benefit to listening to other people's opinions when they're in conflict with his own beliefs.

Good luck with this. Given that all of this is in the public record, you'd think Elon would want to behave in a way that preserves the respect of his kids when they learn these details a decade from now. But children are forgiving of their parents. I'm full of lots of opinions without having any of the information one would need to support those opinions, but the pain of this is universal nonetheless.
May. 9th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
No, this post was to "tell my truth", so to speak. Elon already turned that offer down; he knows this divorce can be resolved "inexpensively" (I use the number loosely because the numbers involved are not small).

And I was talking about 'fair' and 'reasonable' not in legal standards but in is-she-a-golddigger standards.

(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 9th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - moschus - May. 9th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 10th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - moschus - May. 10th, 2010 01:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 10th, 2010 02:47 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 9th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
I can see why he's apprehensive about the stocks; I think I'd be too. However, you do have FIVE kids? It's not like he'll be hurting for money if he gives you 6 million. Does he not understand that the money isn't just so you can go flying around the world, but that it's because kids cost money (especially in Bel Air)? Well, it is in our nature to be a little stubborn...

Good luck with this ordeal. I can't imagine how stressful it is.
May. 9th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Child support and alimony are separate demands from the six million. The six million is after child support and alimony are paid.
May. 9th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
I can't believe how candid you're being on this topic. I appreciate it though, and I think that what you're asking for is really quite reasonable. You could ask for twice as much cash and many would still find it reasonable. $6M would provide you with what, $180K a year at a 3% return, which is conservative and yet still quite comfortable for you and the kids.

Aside from the stock, which he may not wish to part with on principle, it would seem that he could settle for the remaining aspects of your offer and not even notice the money gone from his accounts, as it were. He's probably spent much more than that on legal fees already, hasn't he?

Clearly, pragmatism has been won over by emotions, now. How unfortunate for you and for him. Best wishes for you. I don't know the whole back story, but I don't think you deserve such a prolonged, painful process to close this off. So unfortunate...
May. 9th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
Unless I'm misunderstanding Justine's offer, the $180,000 a year, however conservative, is on top of alimony and child support, not in place of it.
(no subject) - moschus - May. 9th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - iamom - May. 9th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 10th, 2010 07:01 am (UTC)
I disagree with most of the posters. If you get the house, child support and alimony plus cash, then asking for stock is greedy. It appears to be a calculated move to up your cash ante, and demanding the car is just obnoxious.

I am aware of the gossip of his uh...past digressions(?) and understand why you would want to stick it to him, but really, admit that you are in fact being just as emotional as he is. If you signed the post-nup then this boils down to either your greed or desire for revenge, stemming from a love and intoxication of the power of new money. (I mean, I remember when your blogline was love sex and money- something like that).

Someone else already stated this, but this whole post is a power play to his financial advisors. Sickening.
May. 10th, 2010 07:26 am (UTC)
I changed the blogline when I realized people might be taking it seriously. That's the problem with irony.

And he was actually pretty quick to agree to give me the car.

Edited at 2010-05-10 07:34 am (UTC)
the car - (Anonymous) - May. 18th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 14th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 10th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)
Why a Pre-nuptial was missing, prior to, your wedding will always be a mystery to me. Perhaps you were naive and simple (no dis). I'm 24, and wouldn't dream of a life without a marriage contract, namely, the prenupt. Had one been in place 8 yrs ago, there would be no further negotiations, or appeals process today.

The longer your appeal process drags on, the higher your lawyer's bill will be. (Instead of paying $ to the lawyers, keep the $ for yourself and kids). The reality, is the number of hours Justine 'works' each day, versus the number of hours Elon 'works' daily at Tesla is vastly different. The prolonged (over the course of many years) mental and physical exertion a CEO of his high caliber is much harder and more difficult than the exertion you experience, have experienced or will experience. (The fact that many of those commenting here, side BLINDLY with you with their 'emotional' arguments, tells me their yearly income levels). Years of prolonged high stress levels is why you don't see the streets littered with millionaires.

Yes, I know you had a single child who died, and bouts of 'mental' anguish. But what of years consisting of daily verbal and physical attacks a child endures from his low income parents from their sloth, beer drinking, lack of 'know how' of parenting, etc. before he reaches the legal age of 18. (I'm talking about myself here.)

Valuation of a company's stock combined with future market capitalization (Tesla's worth in 5 yrs, 10 yrs) are highly volatile. Convert these 'mysterious' and vague percentages (ie. 10% of his Tesla stock) into real, tangible numbers. For example, 10% = 30 million, 10% = 70 million, 10% = 120 million. Whatever the REAL numbers are, don't post the numbers here in ur blog because it is none of ur readers' business. As experienced and knowledgeable Mr. Zolla is in family law, there is no way he can be equally experienced and knowledgeable in IPO, corporate valuation, etc., despite what his website says. (once again, no dis)

If we were married for 8 yrs with 5 kids and a net worth of $328 million; the least I would give u is a one-time cash settlement of $10 million in total value (meaning u no longer get any company stocks) and the most is $20, 50, or 70 million. I think 70 million is too high. (But I would have to do more complex calculations).

I seem to lean toward Elon more than you because I share similar a lifestyle to his... we are both stressed out workaholics. You understand I just present FACTS here, and not jump BLINDLY on either Elon or your side. I don't need $ or financing from Elon, within the next couple years I will have $1 or 2 million myself, from 100hr+ 'work' weeks (business).

Make sure you have a prenup with ur new and current boyfriend. Check IP address(es) to make sure future replies are mine, and not some idiot poser pretending to be me.

I wish BOTH Elon and Justine best wishes in their futures.

Sincerely yours, 24
May. 10th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
Re: 24
That seems fair. A one-time cash settlement would be *incredibly awesome*.
May. 10th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
Yep, 24 nailed it (I'm the anon before you). As someone who grew up with money, it appears obvious to me that she is entitled to a 20 mil one time payout (50 is max- too, too high) plus house. That's it. The kids are totally covered. The whole thing is a farce and at some point may actually affect her children's future net worth. I would also prenup that boyfriend is a hot minute.
May. 10th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
Just a point about the boyfriend -- he's got other issues on his mind (like coordinating efforts in Louisiana to help combat the oil spill, an event that keeps reminding me to put all this stuff into perspective).
puhlease....show up and 'coordinate efforts' in Louisiana - (Anonymous) - Jun. 23rd, 2010 09:50 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 10th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
I'd just like to point out what Elon has done with his money. I bet he has 80% of everything he has made tied up in his "projects" It takes some real balls to put all that money on the line. And as far as I can tell the money is he put on the line is being used for good.

What would you do with the stock your asking for?
May. 10th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Re: hmmm
Yes, Elon has huge steel balls. He truly does. And you're absolutely right -- he could have used his abilities to build another Enron, and he's not -- I can't watch the oil spill happening right now and not be aware of that.

It's a fair question. I would like to bring down my parents and support them. I would like to save and invest. I would like to play a significant role in the causes that are becoming increasingly important to me (for example, I'd like to donate enough money to build 5 schools for girls in Cambodia and name each one after one of my sons, and then take them, when they're older, to see that, and the effects of that, first-hand.) I would like to take my kids around the world (5 kids, so travel is tough to contemplate) because I think that kind of global awareness is important, especially when they're growing up with the kind of advantages they have. And I would like to build something online -- something involving fiction, technology, & cause-marketing or cause integration -- something that explores the cutting edge of storytelling and the still-forming new landscape of publishing...I'd like to build up a brand powerful enough to discover and promote other creatives under that brand -- basically the digital equivalent of a publishing imprint (but would extend to other forms of media as well) -- I've been extremely influenced by the concept of "socially relevant storytelling", the philosophy behind a film production company called Participant.

I'm still figuring it out.

I'll do these things regardless (or try to). I would just prefer to be able to do them without being forced to sell my house (although I plan to sell it anyway).

I certainly don't need to live any better than I already do. I've already had the extravagent private-jet lifestyle, or at least enough of it to know that (besides the impact that kind of consumerism has on the environment) I need real substance in my life -- the kind found through meaningful work and high-quality relationships -- which doesn't leave you any *time* to be extravagent (except for once in a while). I'd rather write good, compelling fiction about extravagent people.

Edited at 2010-05-10 09:31 pm (UTC)
Re: hmmm - (Anonymous) - May. 11th, 2010 11:58 am (UTC) - Expand
materialism - (Anonymous) - May. 17th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: materialism - (Anonymous) - May. 18th, 2010 04:53 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: hmmm - (Anonymous) - Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: hmmm - Regina Bendler - Jul. 16th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: hmmm - (Anonymous) - May. 18th, 2010 05:10 am (UTC) - Expand
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About Me

I'm the author of three published novels: the dark fantasies BLOODANGEL and LORD OF BONES (Roc/Penguin) and the YA supernatural thriller UNINVITED (MTV/Simon&Schuster). I also have stories in the MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRE ROMANCE 2 and ZOMBIES: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE HUNGRY DEAD. I'm working on a psychological thriller called THE DECADENTS. I am divorced, with sons, and live in Bel Air.

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