Musk Predicts 'Extreme Torture,' Possible Tesla 'Destruction'

Tesla CEO talks 120-hour workweeks and friends 'concerned' about his health with the 'NYT'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2018 6:33 AM CDT
Updated Aug 17, 2018 7:00 AM CDT
In this May 7, 2018, file photo, Elon Musk attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala in New York.   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – One of his companies has been accused of dangerous practices; he tweeted himself into hot water by calling a cave rescuer a "pedo"; and another recent tweet caught the SEC's attention. All of which have given Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk the "most difficult and painful year of my career," he tells the New York Times, calling it "excruciating." The paper says he "choked up" during his Thursday interview, in which he "demonstrated an extraordinary level of self-reflection and vulnerability." The article reveals he's been working up to 120 hours a week, came close to missing his brother's wedding this summer, and has friends who've become "really concerned" about his health. Also concerned: Tesla board members worried about how much the 47-year-old has been taking on, and also about the Ambien he takes, as well as possibly recreational drugs, per sources.

Central to the Times story: an account from Musk on what happened the day he sent the tweet about Tesla going private—a tweet that's caused him big headaches. He admits the missive wasn't cleared before he sent it live, resulting in "blindsided" Tesla board members and a "chain reaction" in the market, and spurring SEC subpoenas for both Musk and Tesla. At one point during the chaos, Musk thought he'd gotten a handle on work and that "the worst of it was over," he said. "But," he added, "from a personal pain standpoint, the worst is yet to come," including what he predicts will be months of "extreme torture" from short-selling investors who he says will "[push] a narrative that will possibly result in Tesla's destruction." More from his chat with the Times here, in which he "alternated between laughter and tears." (Even Azealia Banks has popped up in the Musk drama.)

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