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Elon Musk describes ‘bleak’ life in ‘strange Gatsby-like house’

Elon Musk over the weekend reminisced fondly on his days couch surfing at the homes of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and bemoaned the “strange Gatsby-like house” he is staying in.

In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times, the eccentric Tesla CEO — who recently sold a 16,000-square-foot mega mansion for $29 million as he looks to “own no house” — said that not having his own place in the Bay Area from 2002 to 2017 forced him to sleep at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif. factory or in a hotel or friend’s spare bedroom.

“It was actually, in retrospect, kind of good because you end up rotating through friends’ houses and you catch up with them and stay in contact, whereas these days, I have been staying in this strange Gatsby-like house, what I call the haunted mansion, and it’s a bit bleak, to be totally frank,” Musk said. “The house itself is beautiful but, you know, it’s like Wayne Manor without Alfred.”

Musk last month sold the sprawling Los Angeles mansion, complete with a tennis court and a two-story library and has five other California properties on the market for nearly $100 million.

Asked about the coronavirus pandemic — which he had previously called “dumb” back in March — and lockdowns which led him to go head-to-head with California health authorities, Musk said that he believes he may have had the virus in January and said he wears a mask when working at the factory.

“I think the reality of Covid is that it is dangerous if you’re elderly and have pre-existing conditions,” Musk said. “It absolutely makes sense to have a lockdown if you’re vulnerable, but I do not think it makes sense to have a lockdown if you’re not vulnerable.”

Musk also touched on the massive security breach that Twitter experienced earlier this month, in which hackers gained access to high-profile accounts on the site — including Musk’s — and used them to push a bitcoin scam. Though reports indicated that the hackers may have gotten access to the hacked accounts’ private messages, Musk laughed when saying he wasn’t worried.

“I’m not that concerned about my DMs being made public,” he said. “I mean, we can probably cherry pick some section of my DMs that sound bad out of context but overall my DMs mostly consist of swapping memes.”

Musk also dished on Johnny Depp’s explosive libel trial, denying that he ever had an affair with actress and ex-girlfriend Amber Heard while she was married to Depp, and swatted down the claim that he had a threesome with Heard and model friend Cara Delevingne.

“We did not have the threesome, you know,” he said. “I think people think these things are generally more salacious than they are.”

The 49-year-old entrepreneur also discussed his two-man space race with Amazon CEO and world’s richest man Jeff Bezos, who he has previously called a copycat because of projects pursued by the latter’s Blue Origin rocket company.

Despite the rivalry, Musk said that he was happy to have someone else committed to exploring space.

“The rate of progress is too slow and the amount of years he has left is not enough, but I’m still glad he’s doing what he’s doing with Blue Origin,” Musk said.


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