Sunday, January 29

Elon Musk’s ex-girlfriend is auctioning college photos of him

A woman who dated Elon Musk in college is auctioning a personal collection of photos and other items linked to the tech billionaire from their days as a couple at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Among the items being sold by Jennifer Gwynne of Virginia: a dollar bill signed by Musk, a birthday card he sent to her and a 14k-gold necklace Musk gifted her in 1994. She is selling the items through Boston-based RR Auction to help pay college tuition for her stepson, British newspaper The Independent reported. 

Gwynne is selling a total of 18 original photographs, including images of her and Musk eating and socializing with friends. In one photo from 1995, Gwynne and Musk sit a bench outside the school’s freshman dorms.

This December 1995 photo shows Jennifer Gwynne and Elon Musk on a bench outside the University of Pennsylvania freshman dorms. 

Jennifer Gwynne via RR Auction

Gwynne told RR Auction that Musk’s mother, Maye, took the photo during a trip to visit her son in Philadelphia. 

“As I remember, the three of us were planning to drive to NYC to see the musical ‘Tommy.’ The whole trip was a lovely gift from Maye,” Gwynne told the auction company. “But as we were getting ready to leave, something on Elon’s car broke. So we ended up spending five or so hours at an auto parts store so Elon could fix the issue himself. He did. We made it to NYC and had a wonderful time.”

Elon Musk pictured during his days as a student at the University of Pennsylvania. 

RR Auction

Bidding for this original photo of Elon Musk topped $400. “We were heading out to see Pulp Fiction on one of our first dates off campus,” reads a description by Jennifer Gwynne, who dated Musk in college, on an auction house website. 

RR Auction

Another photo shows an overexposed close-up of a 23-year-old Musk in brown leather jacket behind the wheel of a BMW. “We were heading out to see Pulp Fiction on one of our first dates off campus,” according to a description by Gwynne on the auction house’s website.

Gwynne and Musk began dating in 1994, when she was a resident adviser in the same University of Pennsylvania dorm where Musk lived. Musk graduated from Penn with a bachelor’s degree in physics and economics, then attended Stanford University, where he received a doctorate in materials science. 

Musk is now CEO of Tesla Motors and founder of SpaceX, as well as the world’s richest man with a net worth of about $219 billion, according to Forbes.

In an interview last month with Inside Edition, Gwynne said the entrepreneur was her first serious relationship and described Musk during his college years as “sweet,” “kind,” “smart” and “engaging,” although typically not big on public displays of affection. He also already showed a strong interest in electric cars, she said, noting that the couple haven’t spoken since breaking up 27 years ago.

The online auction, which started last month, ends on Wednesday. Each of the items has received between three and 33 bids on RR Auction’s website.

As of Monday, the birthday card from Musk is drawing the highest bid at $10,001. The signed dollar bill is going for $7,604 and bidding on the 14k gold necklace sits is at just under $6,000. The necklace has a small green emerald that Gwynne told Inside Edition came from a mine Musk’s father owns in Africa.

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