n ex-girlfriend of Tesla boss Elon Musk is set to make over $22,000 (£19,000) from auctioning mementos of his past relationship with the world’s richest man while the pair were at university.
Jennifer Gwynne began dating Musk while he was a 23-year-old science student at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and told the Independent she would use the proceeds from the auction to help fund her stepson’s college tuition fees.
Bids for a signed birthday card from Musk to Gwynne, whom he nicknamed ‘Boo-Boo’, have already topped $10,000, while a gold necklace he bought for her, featuring an emerald plucked from his father’s mine, has exceeded $5,000.
Gwynne said: ‘When we went to visit Elon’s mother in Toronto during the Christmas break of 1994, Elon gave me both the small ‘love, love, love’ note and the necklace.
“His mom had a number of these necklaces in a case in her bedroom and Elon told me they were from his father’s emerald mine in South Africa—he pulled one from the case. And because I had not gotten him anything as a Christmas gift (and I felt very guilty about that), he said we would consider the necklace an early birthday present for me.”
A range of photographs of the young Musk pottering about in his student dorm have attracted bids collectively topping $6,000.
One of the photos shows Musk at his desk sporting a t-shirt of comic book character ‘Judge Dredd’. Musk would invoke the fictional character years later, posting a meme of actor Karl Urban playing the role with the caption “you have been judged!” after a court ruled Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space firm did not lose out unfairly when Nasa awarded a $2,9 billion contract to Musk’s SpaceX.
After graduating from Pennsylvania, Musk moved to Stanford University to begin a PhD in materials science, before quitting two days into the programme to launch his first startup.
The auction is set to close on Wednesday.