Elon Musk has doubled down on his apparently baseless claims that Vernon Unsworth, the British cave diver who helped rescue a trapped youth soccer team in Thailand, is a pedophile. In an angry email to BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Mac, the Tesla CEO called the 63-year-old Unsworth a "child rapist" who married a child bride. "I suggest that you ... find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you f***ing a**hole," Musk wrote. "He’s an old, single white guy from England who’s been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time." Musk has been feuding with Unsworth since the diver called his attempt to join the rescue effort a "PR stunt," CBS reports.
Musk ended up apologizing after making similar claims in July, but he revived the accusations last week, wondering why Unsworth hadn't sued him. BuzzFeed, which spoke to Woranan Ratrawiphukken, a 40-year-old Thai woman who has been dating Unsworth for more than seven years, could find nothing to support Musk's claims. Divers on the rescue team rejected another Musk claim that they "refused to hang out with" Unsworth, whose knowledge of the cave system played a key role in the rescue. Musk's "campaign of publishing vile and false accusations against Mr Unsworth is inexcusable," Unsworth's lawyer tells the Guardian. "Musk hopes to be sued and he deserves to be sued. He will be."