Elon Musk has said he doesn’t own a home and has been sleeping on friends’ spare beds, despite reportedly being the world’s richest man.
“I don’t even own a place right now, I’m literally staying at friends’ places,” said the 50-year-old, who usually lives in Texas. “If I travel to the Bay Area, which is where most of Tesla’s engineering is, I basically rotate through friends’ spare bedrooms.”
The Tesla and Space X founder added that he does not own a yacht and does not take holidays, in a defence of his multibillion-dollar wealth.
“I don’t have a yacht, I don’t take vacations, so it’s not as though my personal consumption is high,” Mr Musk said, adding: “One exception is a plane but if I don’t use the plane I have less hours to work.”
He had been asked by TED’s Chris Anderson, the head of the conference organisation, about people who were “hugely offended” by billionaires before making the claims about his living situation.
“I think there’s some axiomatic flaws that are leading to that conclusion,” said Mr Musk of the people who are “offended” by his wealth. “For sure it would be problematic if I was consuming billions of dollars a year in personal consumption but that is not the case.”
Mr Musk has an estimated net worth of $251bn (£207bn), according to Bloomberg, and is the richest individual in the United States and the world. He is currently at the centre of a $43bn (£33bn )takeover bid of Twitter but has been set back by the company’s board.
The TED comments come a month after Mr Musk’s long-term on-and-off partner Grimes caused controversy with an interview with Vanity Fair in March in which she said he “does not live like a billionaire”.
“Bro lives at times below the poverty line. To the point where I was like, can we not live in a very insecure $40,000 house? Where the neighbours, like, film us, and there’s no security, and I’m eating peanut butter for eight days in a row?”
Grimes, who recently gave birth to the couple’s second child, was heavily condemned for suggesting Mr Musk’s frugal lifestyle was equivalent to being “poor”.
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