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Amber Heard said she first bonded with Elon Musk at the 2016 Met Gala.
The gala followed an explosive fight with her then-husband Johnny Depp, who didn't show up.
Musk and Heard reportedly began dating a couple of months later, but a UK trial witness said they were together in 2015.
Amber Heard said she became friends with Elon Musk — who she later dated — after her then-husband, Johnny Depp, stood her up at the 2016 Met Gala.
Heard testified in her trial Monday that Depp failed to show up at the May 7 event in Manhattan, which was held around two weeks after the couple had an explosive fight that Depp said led to the end of their relationship.
On the line for the red carpet, Heard met the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, she said. She didn't recognize him at first.
"I was standing in line, right in front of a gentleman. It was Elon," Heard said. "I didn't recognize him until we started talking. He has reminded me that we had met once before, when he was with his mother."
Heard's testimony Monday morning continues her direct examination after a weeklong break for the trial.
Depp sued her in 2019, alleging she defamed him by describing herself as a victim of domestic violence. Heard filed for divorce against Depp in May 2016, two weeks after the Met Gala and at around the same time she filed for a restraining order against him. According to Heard, who filed a countersuit, Depp has physically abused her numerous times before and during their marriage.
Johnny Depp was a no-show and Elon Musk was sitting nearby
On April 21 of 2016, Depp failed to show up on time for Heard's birthday party. Depp testified earlier in the trial that he was running late because of a meeting with his financial team over the unexpectedly disastrous state of his finances, and that Heard assaulted him later that evening because of his tardiness, leading him to break up with her. Heard has claimed that Depp showed up drunk and assaulted her in one of his usual bouts of intoxicated rage.
Heard planned to go to the Met Gala anyway. She and Depp had both been invited as guests of Ralph Lauren, she testified Monday, though Depp missed a fitting because it was scheduled to be around the time of the April 21 fight. Heard wasn't sure if Depp would show up to the Met Gala because his team was uncommunicative, and because she had issues with her phone ever since Depp through it out the window of one of their Los Angeles penthouses during the fight.
"I wasn't sure what was going on, when he would show up, if he would show up," Heard said. "No one would talk to me on his team. I didn't know. So I ended up going by myself."
On the line for the red carpet, she met Musk, who she described as a "real gentleman."
With Depp not there, she walked down with a member of Ralph Lauren's team, she said. At her table inside, someone cleared away Depp's place setting.
"I sat next to an empty place setting for Johnny as they cleared after realizing he effectively stood me up by the red carpet," Heard said.
Alone at the gala, Heard reconnected with Musk, who was sitting at a nearby table, she said.
"He was at a nearby table, we got to speaking that night, and we eventually became friends," she said.
A witness in the UK trial gave a different story
It's not precisely clear when Heard and Musk began dating. Musk first expressed interest in meeting Heard in 2013, when they both had parts in the movie "Machete Kills." The earliest reports of them being together date to July 2016.
In the 2020 trial in the UK that Depp brought over Heard's allegations, one witness gave a different accounting of the origins of the relationship between Musk and Heard. Depp, who ultimately lost the case, sued the British tabloid The Sun for calling him a "wife beater."
A security guard for the Los Angeles building where Depp and Heard lived said in a witness statement for that trial that Musk visited Heard in her apartments starting in March 2015 — just over a year before Heard said she didn't recognize Musk at the Met Gala.
"From March 2015 onwards, Ms. Heard was visited regularly late at night, at around 11:00 pm to midnight, by Mr. Elon Musk," the security guard, Alejandro Romero, wrote. "For his initial visits, I would receive a call from Ms. Heard who would tell me to give Mr. Musk access to the garage for the building and then send him up to the penthouse."
Musk visited so often, Romero wrote, that Heard gave him his own garage remote and key to the penthouse she shared with Depp. Musk visited when Depp wasn't there, according to Romero.
"After he had made a few visits, Ms. Heard provided Mr. Musk with his own garage remote and a fob to Mr. Depp's penthouse," Romero wrote. "I believe he visited Ms. Heard a few times a week and he would always visit when Mr. Depp was not at home."
Depp has suggested in court filings that Heard was cheating on him with Musk, and his text messages to friends where he fumes about her refer to someone he nicknames "Mollusk."
A representative for Heard didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Notes taken by Erin Falati, Heard's personal nurse, indicate the actress used MDMA and shrooms with a "high-profile male acquaintance" on May 9 of 2016, but Heard testified on Monday that the notes were inaccurate.
As Depp and Heard reached a divorce settlement agreement later in 2016, Heard said she'd donate all of the $7 million she received to the American Civil Liberties Union and a Los Angeles Children's Hospital.
She ultimately paid only $350,000 to the ACLU, according to the nonprofit's records entered into evidence at the trial. Musk donated another $500,000 in her name, the records show.
In August 2017, after Heard's breakup with Musk became news, she texted Christian Carino, an agent who has represented both her and Depp. Heard indicated she was using Musk for "filling space" after her breakup with Depp.
"You weren't in love with him and you told me a thousand times you were just filling space," Carino told Heard.
"I know, but I wanted time to grieve and recover in my own time," Heard responded.
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