It must be weird being Amber Heard. The 30-year-old Austin native has been in the news a lot lately. Her separation from Johnny Depp—which was accompanied by an emergency restraining order in May—led to a quick divorce. Heard then answered accusations from Depp’s famous friends that the actress (with a personal $9 million net worth) was a “gold digger” by donating her entire $7 million settlement to charity. Amid all of that, she’s been linked to a new suitor—SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
Tabloid reports have suggested that Musk and Heard are dating; others have claimed that the two are just friends; either way, the relationship between the two goes back further than Heard’s recent divorce. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Musk started hitting up Texas filmmaker Robert Rodriguez for an introduction to Heard way back in 2013.
[T]he Tesla founder nearly met Johnny Depp’s now-former wife while doing a cameo in Robert Rodriguez’s 2013 film Machete Kills, in which Heard had a role (as Miss San Antonio). Musk, 45, didn’t have a scene with Heard, 30, but apparently became infatuated anyway, according to a source close to the set, and began sending emails to Rodriguez and others — some made available to THR through a confidential source — asking him to set up a rendezvous.
“If there is a party or event with Amber, I’d be interested in meeting her just out of curiosity,” Musk wrote. “Allegedly, she is a fan of George Orwell and Ayn Rand … most unusual.” Rodriguez and team did indeed set up a dinner, but Heard — who was dating Depp at the time — didn’t show, leading Musk to try again. “Can you send her a note saying I would like to get together for lunch in LA?” he emailed the Rodriguez team again. “Am not angling for a date. I know she’s in a long-term relationship, but … Amber just seems like an interesting person to meet.”
Heard probably is an interesting person, but the fact that she’s read two of the most influential and widely read authors of the twentieth century is kind of shallow cover. Despite the fact that Heard skipped the first meeting, Musk kept at it, and apparently some sort of friendship was struck between the two.
That makes sense. Musk seems like an interesting guy himself—he wants to live on Mars!—and Heard could probably use more people in her life who aren’t going to call her a monster for accusing beloved movie star Johnny Depp of being abusive. It’s unclear whether Musk’s pursuit of Heard’s time was purely because he was like, “I never get to meet anybody who likes George Orwell and Ayn Rand, who is this intriguing creature,” or maybe because he had a crush on a pretty movie star—but while the latter seems more plausible, that doesn’t tell us anything about their friendship as it exists years later.
On the one hand, all of this is pretty normal stuff. Lots of us are interested in movie stars. On the other, Musk is a dude with a lot of influence in the world, and something about him hitting up the Rodriguez team a second time, after Heard didn’t show to the first meeting they arranged, seems like he was leaning harder on his influence than is totally cool. Musk is also going through divorce proceedings with his wife, Talulah Riley, for the third time (they divorced in 2012, remarried in 2013, and filed for divorce again in 2014, though they didn’t go through with it). Riley is also a movie actress fifteen years his junior, which means that Musk certainly seems to have a type.
In any case, we wish nothing but happiness for Heard, whose summer sure sounds like it has been challenging. No matter who she’s spending her time with, or the circumstances under which they met, she could probably use some positivity.