Cave Diver Sues Elon Musk for 'Pedo' Claim After Thai Rescue

Vern Unsworth previously signaled his intent to file suit
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2018 4:00 PM CDT
Tesla CEO speaks at a news conference in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

(Newser) – A British diver who criticized Elon Musk's attempted contribution to the sensational cave rescue of a Thai boy's soccer team has filed suit against the billionaire for calling him a pedophile. Vern Unsworth, who helped save a dozen boys and their coach in July, filed suit against Musk on Monday in the US District Court for the Central District of California, per BuzzFeed News. The suit cites Musk's July 13 tweet that referred to Unsworth as "pedo guy," written as an apparent retort to the diver's comments disparaging the mini-submarine built by Musk and his engineers to aid in rescue efforts; it was not used.

Unsworth subsequently suggested he could sue Musk. Weeks later, when he'd failed to do so, Musk again tweeted about the situation. This time, on Aug. 28, the Tesla CEO wondered if it was "strange" that Unsworth hadn't sued. That tweet, per the lawsuit, was Musk's attempt to lead his millions of followers to believe Unsworth was, indeed, a pedophile. Following that tweet, the suit cites multiple emails Musk reportedly sent to BuzzFeed as evidence of his continued bid to convince others that Unsworth is a pedophile, including one that alleged Unsworth moved to Thailand "for a child bride." (The AP has more on Unsworth and his high-profile libel lawyer.)

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