Riley, whose new dystopian novel The Quickening is out now, was married to Musk twice – first from 2010 to 2012 and a second time from 2013 to 2016.
In an interview with The Independent, Riley said of the pair’s decision to remarry: “Obviously I understand it looks strange. But that logic made sense at the time.”
She added: “I suppose the reason to get remarried was just because it felt silly to be together unmarried after having been married. You know, it’s like a habit. We were saying, ‘This is my husband.’ ‘This is my wife.’ ‘Oh, wait, no, we’re not that anymore. We better be that again.’”
Riley – who is now dating her Pistol co-star Thomas Brodie-Sangster – said she shares a “very deep love and connection” with Musk, adding: “He’s a great friend. He looks out for me. We are in a happy place now, where we’re good to each other, which is really nice. I have the utmost love for him.”
The actor, who has starred in St Trinian’s, the 2007 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice and Westworld, said she took a career break to care for Musk’s five children from his first marriage to Justine Musk.
“It wasn’t really a traditional housewife role,” she said. “I mean, there were the rockets and the cars, and there were things blowing up… there was a lot going on – a lot that was very stimulating.
“We [she and Musk’s kids] were very involved in what was going on. It was a group effort. A family-wide effort.”
Praising her former husband, she continued: “Elon was great. He had me alongside for all of that. So it wasn’t like I was stuck in a mansion in Bel Air like a trophy wife, which would not have been fun. I did, of course, witness that for others. But luckily, that was not my fate.”