Sex Allegations, Amber Heard, Turning Republican and More – What is Up with Elon Musk?

Whether he's stoking the fires of a cryptocurrency boom and bust or buying companies for Saturday afternoon jollies, Elon Musk

Sex Allegations

Whether he's stoking the fires of a cryptocurrency boom and bust or buying companies for Saturday afternoon jollies, Elon Musk knows how to drive headlines.

But recently, Musk seems less like an orchestra conductor of public relations and an eccentric billionaire – and more like someone whose reputation is quickly spiraling out of his control. From sex allegations to a weird connection with Amber Heard, turning Republican, a possible takeover of Twitter and more – what is up with Elon Musk?

Sex Allegations Set Twitter Afire

First the breaking news. A story hit the ground running on Thursday that Musk's company SpaceX paid $250k in hush money to an employee flight attendant.

According to documents, Musk exposed himself to the woman and propositioned her for sex. And then, to buy her silence – the woman was given $250K out of the coffers of SpaceX.

Business Insider explains, "The attendant worked as a member of the cabin crew on a contract basis for SpaceX's corporate jet fleet. She accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage, according to interviews and documents obtained by Insider.

The incident, which took place in 2016, is alleged in a declaration signed by a friend of the attendant and prepared in support of her claim. The details in this story are drawn from the declaration as well as other documents, including email correspondence and other records shared with Insider by the friend.

When she was hired, the unnamed woman explains in her declaration that she was encouraged to get a masseuse certification, and it was while massaging Musk that he engaged in these behaviors.

When Insider reached out to Musk for comment, he asked for more time to respond and said there was, "a lot more to this story."

Musk told the publication, "If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light." He called the story a, "politically motivated hit piece."

On Twitter, Musk explained, "The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens – this is their standard (despicable) playbook – but nothing will deter me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech."

But people in the responses don't seem to buy that it's just an attempt to smear his name.

@KnowNothingTV responded to his tweet, "Order of events:

1) Reporter contacts Musk to comment on story regarding allegations against him

2) Musk announces he’s voting Republican and that he now expects to be attacked

3) Story comes out

4) Musk claims it’s a hit piece attacking him for supporting Republicans."

@TomCoates adds, "A news story about you is not an attack. If you believe it is false then you are free to respond openly. I imagine you could dispel any issues here quite quickly by revealing all the documents associated with the allegations and freeing the woman concerned from her NDA?"

Yet others seem to agree that it's a politically motivated hit job, which is what comes next on our tour of What the Heck, Elon?

Turning Republican

For years, Musk's tweets have walked a moderate line with neither a clear inclination towards Republican or Democrat. The Tesla founder has heaped endless criticism on both parties, reserving his love for neither.

One could be forgiven for thinking he was an Independent voter, but Musk recently say that's not so – he's officially becoming a Republican.

This could be in response to Musk's dissatisfaction over the way free speech is handled online – and the number of times he's been slapped on the hand for sharing information he shouldn't be sharing in regards to his company, walking the line between insider trading and legality.

The Republican party in recent years has set itself up to the bastion of free speech defense and the last safe place to say whatever you believe – even if it offends or hurts someone else.

Musk is even trying to spend $40B to buy Twitter to preserve his right to mess with cryptocurrency values and slam people he has a beef with, so clearly he believes censorship is a serious concern.

Those who have been fans of Musk for awhile on the right side of the aisle are welcoming him with open arms – and he's leaping into them feet first with all of this furor over the sexual harassment and abuse allegations. Is it fortuitous timing that will cement his love affair with the Free Speech party? Or was it all part of a plan to gain the most political capital? Fans online seem divided over the answer.

Is Musk Funding Amber Heard? Also – What’s Up with his Sperm?

Fans are also having a good time arguing over Musk's involvement with his "good friend" and ex Amber Heard.

Some believe the billionaire playboy has been bankrolling Heard, currently embroiled in a defamation lawsuit with her ex-husband Johnny Depp who says her op-ed about being in an abusive relationship destroyed his career.

Heard and Musk began dating shortly after divorce proceedings began between her and Depp. Allegedly, during the relationship they created embryos with her eggs and his sperm. After they broke up, Heard later went on to have a child – but she has not revealed who the father is.

Online theories currently circulate around the idea that Musk is paying Heard's legal way to keep her from using another embryo, but it's nearly all speculation.

Buying Twitter, or Maybe Not

While it's a weird enough story on its own, compared to the rest it almost seems like an afterthought: Elon Musk may soon be the owner of Twitter, founded by Jack Dorsey.

Musk has long been a critic of the way the social media platform handles free speech and who it chooses to censor – although Twitter is often considered a Wild West-esque landscape with far fewer restrictions than other platforms.

Initially, Musk bought a majority share in the company and then offered to buy it for a whopping $44B, which shareholders couldn't really do much about because of his ownership percentage.

Since then, Musk seems to have cooled on the deal and may be pulling out of the offer.

MarketWatch explains, "Musk’s bid for Twitter TWTR, -1.03% has become one of the strangest M&A sagas Silicon Valley has ever seen. Here’s a quick recap: Musk bought some Twitter stock, reached an agreement to serve on the board, rescinded that agreement, made a bid to buy the company and take it private, and that bid was ultimately accepted. However, as stock prices have plunged in an overall market downturn, Musk has suffered from apparent buyer’s remorse and is saying that the deal is 'on hold.'

One problem with that move is that it doesn’t exist."

There is no deal procedure to place the process "on hold" and if Musk is going to bow out, he's going to have to pay anyway. In order to protect the company's valuation, they have to hit him with a penalty for reneging on the buyer's contract to the possible tune of $1B or more.

It seems by all signs that Musk may still want to close the deal, but he's looking to renegotiate now that he's learned more about how Twitter functions and the bee's nest he would be walking into.

For Twitter's sake, forcing him to close the deal would be the best outcome: and now, they have leverage because he's starting to waver.

All in all, it really isn't the biggest Musk story of the day – but it all adds up to one bizarre picture of a man who's usually very in control of the way the world views him. He's confident in his tarnished reputation and happy to be a maverick among the ultra-wealthy. But now, he's being hit from every direction. Money may be able to buy his way out of many legal woes, but it can't protect him from public opinion. For now, Musk is focused on his right turn, business ventures – and pretending not to hear what the world is saying about him.