X

Elon Musk Will Have His Day in Court

Tesla CEO to testify this week in trial tied to 'pedo guy' defamation lawsuit brought by British diver
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2019 8:43 AM CST
In this March 14, 2019, file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at Tesla's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Elon Musk has made at least a few tweets he probably regrets (or maybe not), but one in particular will see him in court this week for a defamation trial. In October, a judge rejected Musk's attempts to nix the lawsuit brought against him by British diver Vernon Unsworth, who helped with the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded Thai cave in July 2018. The trial tied to the suit begins Tuesday in Los Angeles, with both Musk and Unsworth expected to testify, their attorneys tell CNN Business. The rift between the two men started while the 2018 rescue effort was still ongoing, with Musk offering to send a mini-submarine to help get the boys and the coach out. Unsworth rolled his eyes at that idea and called it a "PR stunt."

That's when Musk went on a diatribe against Unsworth, calling him "pedo guy" in a since-deleted tweet, as well as emailing a BuzzFeed reporter that he should "stop defending child rapists" (in reference to Unsworth). There's no evidence that Unsworth has ever been involved in any pedophilia, and Musk himself has said he didn't use the term "pedo guy" literally, but as a "common insult used in South Africa" when he was a kid, meaning "creepy old man." Per the BBC, Musk could take the stand right after jury selection is completed. Unsworth is said to be seeking at least $75,000 in punitive and compensatory damages, Wired reports. As for whether Musk regrets this series of statements against Unsworth, court filings related to the defamation case and cited by Wired reveal that in an email to a public relations adviser in September 2018, Musk wrote: "I'm a f---ing idiot." (Read more Elon Musk stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results  |  
51%
4%
2%
15%
0%
28%