The actress Talulah Riley published a statement Saturday denying rumors that she was procured as a "child bride" for Elon Musk, now her ex-husband, by Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman accused of trafficking underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein.
The FBI arrested Maxwell on Thursday, and social-media users began recirculating a photo on Twitter of Musk standing next to Maxwell at a Vanity Fair party in 2014.
Riley said she had seen rumors on Twitter that her relationship with Musk was set up by Maxwell.
"I don't know Maxwell," Riley said. "Elon and I met when I was 22 and he was on a business trip to London. It was a chance meeting, engineered by no one."
The British actress Talulah Riley has addressed bizarre rumors that she was procured as a "child bride" for her ex-husband, the Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, by Jeffrey Epstein's associate Ghislaine Maxwell.
Riley published a statement on Twitter on Saturday after a photograph of Musk standing next Maxwell at a Vanity Fair party began to recirculate.
The FBI arrested Maxwell on Thursday and charged her with helping Epstein procure underage girls to abuse. Her arrest has fueled speculation of which other high-profile figures might become ensnared in the case. Epstein killed himself in jail in August.
"To my knowledge, I have never met Ghislaine Maxwell," Riley said in her statement.
The picture of Musk and Maxwell was taken at a 2014 Oscars after-party thrown by Vanity Fair, where Riley said she was present. "It is possible I was briefly introduced to her, but not in any way that I can remember," she said.
Riley also addressed rumors she'd seen on Twitter that she had been procured for Musk by Maxwell as a "child bride," in Riley's words.
"The other thing I have seen implied is that Maxwell procured me as some kind of child-bride for Elon," she wrote. "Again, I don't know Maxwell. Elon and I met when I was 22 and he was on a business trip to London. It was a chance meeting, engineered by no one.
"I'm distressed by something so truly awful being thrown around this court-of-Twitter. I hope that every victim of Epstein's finds justice and peace, and that any person involved in harming underage girls is punished to the full extent of the law."
—Talulah Riley (@TalulahRiley) July 4, 2020
Riley told Ashlee Vance, the author of the Musk biography "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future," that she met him at a bar in London in 2008. The pair got married in 2010 and divorced in 2012. They then got married again in 2013, and divorced again in 2016.
The photo of Musk standing next to Maxwell was brought to light in 2019, and a representative for Musk told Business Insider at the time that Maxwell "simply inserted herself behind him in a photo he was posing for without his knowledge."
Kevin Mazur/VF14/Contributor/Getty Images
In her statement, Riley said she went together with Musk to Epstein's house once as part of "an itinerary of appointments."
Musk told Vanity Fair in July last year that he'd been to Epstein's Manhattan residence with Riley.
"Several years ago, I was at his house in Manhattan for about 30 minutes in the middle of the afternoon with Talulah, as she was curious about meeting this strange person for a novel she was writing," he said. "We did not see anything inappropriate at all, apart from weird art. He tried repeatedly to get me to visit his island. I declined."
In January of this year two sources told Business Insider that Jeffrey Epstein set up Musk's brother, Kimbal, with a woman in an attempt to get close to Musk. Epstein and members of his entourage were given a private tour of SpaceX's California facility in 2012, the sources said. Musk denied this on Saturday.
"To the best our knowledge, he never toured SpaceX," Musk tweeted. "Don't know where that comes from."
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