Billionaire Elon Musk has become a regular figure in Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard – despite never setting foot in the courtroom.
JOHNNY DEPP V. AMBER HEARD DEFAMATION TRIAL: LIVE UPDATES
Although the Tesla chief is on Heard’s witness list, his lawyer, Alex Spiro, confirmed to Fox News Digital that he will not be testifying.
A photo combination of Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and Elon Musk
But that hasn’t kept the world’s richest man out of the bombshell civil proceeding in which Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, over a 2018 op-ed she wrote referring to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
The actress and Musk, 50, were first spotted together in July 2016 at a hotel in Miami— just two months after her messy split from Depp.
Elon Musk’s ACLU donations
ACLU Chief Operating Officer Terence Dougherty testified in a pre-recorded deposition played in court Thursday that Musk likely made a $500,000 donation in Heard’s name.
Musk, who has a net worth of $219 billion, has been a longtime supporter of the charity that was once known as a bastion of free speech.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
(Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP)
After Heard’s acrimonious split with Depp, she promised to donate her entire $7 million divorce payout to two charities: the ACLU and the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.
Musk emailed the ACLU’s CEO in 2017, after he started dating the “Justice League” actress, explaining that his girlfriend intended to satisfy her $3.5 million pledge over 10 years, Dougherty testified.
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Around that same time, a $500,000 donation was made in Heard’s name from a Vanguard account.
“We believe that, that is a donor-advised fund that was set up by Elon Musk,” Dougherty testified.
Another $350,000 payment was made in 2018 from a Fidelity account that Depp’s lawyers contend also came from the SpaceX founder — but Dougherty was unsure.
Love triangle: Why the Tesla honcho is involved
Johnny Depp has accused Heard of starting an affair with Musk just one month after they tied the knot.
Staffers at the couple’s Los Angeles penthouse apartment said that Musk visited Heard “late at night” while Depp was filming in Australia in March 2015.
Elon Musk Time Magazine
“Specifically, Ms Heard asked staff at the Eastern Columbia Building to give her ‘friend Elon’ access to the building’s ‘parking garage and the penthouse elevator ‘late at night,’’ the defamation complaint alleges.
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The staffers said they regularly spotted the billionaire leaving the next morning.
After Depp and Heard split in May 2016, Musk again became a frequent visitor to the penthouse late at night, the court papers say.
Musk and Heard have both denied that the relationship began before her split from Depp.
Amber Heard didn’t love Elon Musk
The short-lived romance ended five months after the pair went public on Instagram in April 2017.
The actress repeatedly told former agent Christian Carino, who was once engaged to Lady Gaga, that Musk was “just filling space.”
Actress Amber Heard and Johnny Depp.
Heard told Carino that she didn’t love Musk, according to the agent’s pre-recorded deposition played in court Wednesday.
Carino was asked to read a text exchange with Heard from August 2017. “Dealing with a breakup. I hate when things go public. C, I’m so sad,” Heard wrote of Musk.
Christian Carino (L) and Lady Gaga attend ELLE’s 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration in 2018.
(Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
“You weren’t in love with him, and you told me a thousand times you were just filling space,” Carino replied.
Heard complained about the publicity surrounding her love life. “I hate that yet again a man lets me fall on the spikes by myself,” she wrote, adding, “men are mad at me for leaving them and put things like this out there.”
But Carino pointed out that she could avoid the attention by not “dating Uber-famous people.”
The actress appears to love her Tesla
The “Aquaman” actress is still driving what is believed to be the $80,000 black Tesla Model S that Musk gifted her while they were dating.
Amber Heard was spotted driving the Tesla that Elon Musk gifted her.
(Stoianov / BACKGRID)
Heard was spotted in Los Angeles in January running errands in the ride — after she allegedly told her mom that Musk had bugged the car, according to documents obtained by the Daily Mail.
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Depp’s defamation trial against Heard is set to resume Monday in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia — and the billionaire’s name is likely to resurface before the curtains close on the case.
Rebecca Rosenberg is a veteran journalist and book author with a focus on crime and criminal justice. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and @ReRosenberg.