Elon Musk and Amber Heard were briefly in a romantic relationship in 2016. Heard, an actress known for her roles in movies such as “Aquaman” and “The Rum Diary,” had recently filed for divorce from her then-husband, actor Johnny Depp. Musk and Heard reportedly met on the set of the movie “Machete Kills” in 2013, but did not begin dating until a few years later.
The couple’s relationship was highly publicized, with rumors of their romance circulating in the media for several months before they made their first public appearance together in April 2017. They were seen together at various events, including the premiere of “Al Gore: An Inconvenient Sequel,” which Musk had produced, and the Sydney Opera House, where they watched a production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.”
However, Musk and Heard’s relationship was short-lived. They reportedly broke up in August 2017, citing their busy schedules and the difficulties of a long-distance relationship as reasons for the split. Despite the breakup, the couple has remained on good terms, with Musk referring to Heard as “an amazing, brilliant and kind person” in a statement to the media.
Elon Musk and Amber Heard have known each other for over a decade — but while the SpaceX founder’s interest in the Aquaman actress dates back to 2012, they didn’t actually get together until years later.
The former couple was first spotted out together several times throughout 2016, sparking romance rumors, and later went official with their relationship in April 2017.
Their budded romance turned heads at the time as both Heard and Musk were weathering public breakups. The actress and Johnny Depp finalized their divorce in January, while the tech mogul filed for divorce from Westworld actress Talulah Riley in early 2015.
Musk and Heard were in a relationship for four months before calling it quits in August 2017, but dated on and off in the months that followed before breaking up for good in 2018.
Despite Musk publicly stating that there’s no bad blood between himself and Heard, controversy has followed in the wake of their split. Depp referenced Musk and Heard’s relationship in his defamation trial in May 2022, and most recently, the actress’ Twitter account vanished in the wake of Musk purchasing the social media company.
Here’s everything to know about Musk and Heard’s history together over the years.
2012: Elon Musk requests via email to meet Amber Heard
In August 2016, a source confirmed to PEOPLE that Musk had asked a mutual connection to introduce him to Heard around the time of the 2013 film Machete Kills, in which they both appeared.
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Musk showed interest in the actress despite never sharing a scene with her and sent emails to director Robert Rodriguez and others asking for an introduction.
“If there is a party or event with Amber, I’d be interested in meeting her just out of curiosity,” Musk wrote, according to a snippet of the email obtained by THR. “Allegedly, she is a fan of George Orwell and Ayn Rand … most unusual.”
According to the report, a dinner was set up but Heard, who was dating Depp at the time, did not show up. Musk was reportedly not looking for a date, as he often likes to meet “interesting people from all different industries,” the source told PEOPLE.
May 2, 2016: Elon Musk and Amber Heard spend time together at the Met Gala
During Depp and Heard’s defamation trial in May 2022, the actress alleged that she got acquainted with Musk at the 2016 Met Gala after the actor “stood [her] up” on the red carpet.
“I didn’t recognize [Elon] until we started talking and he reminded me we had met once before,” she said, adding that the Tesla and SpaceX CEO “was with his mother,” Maye Musk, at the event.
“He seemed like a real gentleman,” Heard continued of Musk. “He was really nice. He sat at a nearby table and we got to speaking that night and eventually became friends.”
July 16, 2016: Elon Musk and Amber Heard spark romance rumors
Musk and Heard first sparked dating rumors when they were spotted at the Delano South Beach hotel in Miami on the same weekend in July 2016. Eyewitnesses confirmed to PEOPLE at the time that the two were seen individually in the luxury hotel’s lobby on separate occasions.
The entrepreneur was in town for his SpaceX rocket launch at Cape Canaveral, while the actress was vacationing with her sister.
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July 22, 2016: A source tells PEOPLE that Elon Musk and Amber Heard are ‘just friends’
Despite romance rumors swirling after their Miami getaway, a source confirmed to PEOPLE that the two were not dating.
“Amber and Elon are friends and have been for a few years,” the source said at the time. “Their work schedules overlapped in Florida over the weekend… Elon was there for the SpaceX launch and Amber was there with her sister for a shoot.”
Aug. 2, 2016: Elon Musk and Amber Heard are spotted at a London nightclub together
Two weeks after Musk and Heard were both seen in Miami, they were spotted leaving London’s The Box nightclub separately in August 2016. An eyewitness told PEOPLE that the two arrived together and “they looked like boyfriend and girlfriend.”
April 23, 2017: Elon Musk and Amber Heard go Instagram official
Heard and Musk solidified their relationship with a cheeky Instagram post in April 2017. The actress shared an image of the two sitting beside each other at a restaurant, with Heard resting her arm on Musk’s shoulder and the tech mogul sporting a lipstick kiss mark on his cheek.
Earlier that day, the couple was seen in Australia, where the actress was filming the movie Aquaman at the time. The pair walked arm-in-arm at the Gold Coast’s Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, marking one of Musk and Heard’s first public appearances together.
April 25, 2017: A source tells PEOPLE that Elon Musk loves Amber Heard’s ‘edginess’
Shortly after going Instagram official, a source told PEOPLE that Musk was drawn to Heard because she was unique. “Elon loves a pretty face, but he needs more to be intrigued, Amber has lots more to offer,” the insider said at the time.
“Elon is attracted to her edginess. She isn’t frightened about being different,” the source added. “She doesn’t get easily intimidated. She is very focused and loves to learn.”
April 25, 2017: A source tells PEOPLE that Elon Musk thinks Amber Heard ‘played hard to get’
A source close to Musk told PEOPLE that the couple has “known each other for a while,” but were “friends first” before pursuing a romantic relationship. “Elon was always very fascinated by Amber,” the insider added.
It wasn’t until the “time was right” — when they were both single in 2016 — that Musk started looking for a relationship with Heard. “She was playing hard to get for a while, which made him even more interested,” the insider added.
April 30, 2017: Elon Musk and Amber Heard get dinner at RockSugar in Los Angeles
Musk and Heard appeared to be enjoying each other’s company when they dined together at Century City’s RockSugar in Los Angeles, an onlooker told PEOPLE at the time. They were both seen dressed casually while eating appetizers.
May 1, 2017: A source tells PEOPLE that Elon Musk and Amber Heard are ‘very serious about each other’
After spending a lot of time together, a source told PEOPLE that “Elon and Amber are already very serious about each other.” The insider added, “She spends a lot of time at his house and is very comfortable there. Amber’s also gotten to know his kids and spends time with them as well.”
For fun, the source said Musk “takes her on romantic dinner dates and they also love hanging out in Malibu.” Overall, the SpaceX founder seemed “noticeably happier since he started dating Amber,” the insider added.
May 28, 2017: Elon Musk and Amber Heard show PDA during a date in Australia
Musk and Heard stepped out in Sydney, Australia once again for a date night, where they were seen walking arm-in-arm on their stroll through the city.
Aug. 7, 2017: Elon Musk and Amber Heard break up
About a year after they were first romantically linked, Musk and Heard called it quits in early August 2017. The two broke up due to their respectively busy schedules, a source confirmed to PEOPLE at the time.
“They had fun for a few months, but are both very busy with work now. It was getting hard to find time to see each other,” the source said, adding that Musk initiated the split. “Elon is working day and night. This is his life and he loves it. He is in no position to be in a relationship right now and ended it.”
Aug. 7, 2017: Elon Musk comments on Amber Heard’s Instagram post referencing their split
After their breakup was revealed by PEOPLE, Musk left a comment on Heard’s Instagram post, assuring the public that there’s no bad blood between the two and even hinted at a possible reunion down the road.
“Although Amber and I did break up, we are still friends, remain close and love one another,” the tech mogul wrote on her page. “Long distance relationships, when both partners have intense work obligations are always difficult, but who knows what the future holds.”
Aug. 11, 2017: Elon Musk and Amber Heard issue joint statement about their breakup
After Musk and Heard were spotted together a few days after their breakup, the former couple released a formal statement to clear the air.
The joint statement, exclusively shared with PEOPLE, read: “Having read recent articles about our relationship, we would like to speak for ourselves. The distance has been really tough on our relationship, because we haven’t been able to see each other much. All relationships have their ups and downs, of course.”
“People occasionally send out speculation, which has no basis in fact, without our knowledge, believing that they have our best interests in mind,” the statement continued. “Sometimes, other agendas are at work. It can get a little weird… However, we would like to state directly that we have the utmost respect for one another, and it would be troubling if anyone had the impression that we thought otherwise.”
They ended the statement writing: “As a closing note, it is worth bearing in mind that events are always amplified and dramatized in a high profile relationship, whether the people involved like it or not (and we definitely don’t). The reality is that this is just a normal relationship with a giant magnifying glass applied.”
Nov. 15, 2017: Elon Musk opens up about split from Amber Heard
During an interview with Rolling Stone, Musk opened up about what he’s looking for in a lifelong partner and dove deep into the toll his relationship with Heard took on him emotionally.
“Well, she broke up with me more than I broke up with her, I think,” Musk admitted. “I was really in love and it hurt bad.” The tech mogul said that he “cannot be happy” without a girlfriend.
“I will never be happy without having someone. Going to sleep alone kills me,” he added. “It’s not like I don’t know what that feels like: Being in a big empty house, and the footsteps echoing through the hallway, no one there — and no one on the pillow next to you. F—. How do you make yourself happy in a situation like that?”
Dec. 22, 2017: Elon Musk and Amber Heard share a kiss four months after their split
Four months following their split, photographs surfaced of Musk and Heard sharing a kiss at a Los Angeles restaurant — leaving fans curious about their potentially rekindled relationship. Despite the romantic gesture, a source confirmed to PEOPLE that the two were just having a friendly visit.
“Amber invited Elon to her favorite Texas-breakfast spot,” said Musk’s friend of HomeState restaurant, the eatery in Los Feliz, California where the pics were taken. “They shared a quick kiss goodbye. They’re still just friends, not trying to get back together.”
Dec. 29, 2017: Elon Musk and Amber Heard get dinner together in Chile
The former couple was seen vacationing together in Chile and enjoying dinner with friends, including the Tesla CEO’s brother Kimbal Musk. The restaurant they were dining at, El Taringa, posted an Instagram photo of the crew with the actress and Musk sitting next to each other at the table.
Jan. 22, 2018: Elon Musk and Amber Heard hold hands on a sushi dinner date
After going their separate ways in August, Musk and Heard sparked romance rumors once again when they were photographed walking hand-in-hand as they left a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles. “They’re definitely back together,” a source close to the couple confirmed to PEOPLE at the time.
Feb. 1, 2018: Elon Musk and Amber Heard break up for a second time
After briefly reuniting, Musk and Heard called it quits for a second time. “Elon decided it was time to end it and Amber agreed,” a source close to the couple told PEOPLE in February 2018. “They both still care deeply for each other but the timing wasn’t right.”
March 2, 2018: Elon Musk and Amber Heard attend the same Oscars party
A month after splitting for a second time, Musk and Heard were both seen arriving at the same pre-Academy Awards party in Los Angeles.
Dec. 6, 2018: Amber Heard reflects on split from Elon Musk
10 months after Heard and Musk broke up for the second time in February, the actress opened up about her ex-boyfriend in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Elon and I had a beautiful relationship, and we have a beautiful friendship now, one that was based on our core values,” she said.
As for what drew the two together, the actress said the two bonded over “intellectual curiosity, ideas and conversation, a shared love for science.” Heard continued, “We just bonded on a lot of things that speak to who I am on the inside… I have so much respect for him.” She added, “He’s not boring.”
Johnny Depp claims Amber Heard began a relationship with Elon Musk ‘one month’ into their marriage
In Depp’s defamation lawsuit against Heard, the actor claimed the actress began a relationship with the tech mogul “no later than one month after” she and Depp married in 2015.
In the lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE, Depp claimed Heard received “late night” visits from Musk at the L.A. penthouse Depp and Heard shared while Depp was out of the country. Depp went on to claim Musk was granted access to his home the same night Heard “presented her battered face to the public.”
Elon Musk weighs in on the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp defamation trial
After podcast host Lex Fridman offered his takeaway from Heard and Depp’s defamation trial via Twitter, Musk responded to the tweet, by writing, “I hope they both move on. At their best, they are each incredible.”
Amber Heard’s former agent says the actress claimed she was ‘just filling space’ by dating Elon Musk
During Heard and Depp’s defamation trial, the actress’ agent Christian Carino, who at one point represented both actors for Creative Artists Agency, played his pre-recorded March 11 deposition in the courtroom, in which he spoke about what Heard confided in him about her relationship with billionaire Musk.
When discussing Heard’s breakup with Musk in August 2017, Carino recalled questioning why she was “sad” if she wasn’t “in love with him to begin with.” A lawyer for Depp read a text exchange between Carino and Heard in which she admitted that she was “just filling space” with Musk after her Depp split.
Amber Heard’s Twitter account vanishes after Elon Musk becomes CEO of the social media company
In the wake of Musk’s takeover of Twitter, Heard’s account on the social media platform has seemingly vanished.
Though the timing is unclear, multiple outlets took note on Nov. 3 that the actress’ Twitter account, @realamberheard, has been deactivated. A screen on the page now reads, “This account doesn’t exist.”