Musk to Opposing Lawyer: 'You Are a Bad Human Being'

He defends Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 12, 2021 2:18 PM CDT
'I Don't Want to Be the Boss of Anything,' Musk Says in Court
In this March 14, 2019 photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at the company's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Tesla founder Elon Musk took to a witness stand Monday to defend his company’s 2016 acquisition of a troubled company called SolarCity against a lawsuit that claims he’s to blame for a deal that was rife with conflicts of interest and never delivered the profits he'd promised. And to the surprise of no one, the famously colorful billionaire did so in the most personally combative terms, the AP reports. "I think you are a bad human being," Musk told Randall Baron, a lawyer for shareholders who was pressing Musk to acknowledge his mistakes in helping engineer the $2.5 billion acquisition of SolarCity, a manufacturer of solar panels. "I have great respect for the court," Musk later added, "but not for you, sir.’"

The long-running shareholder lawsuit asserts that Musk, who was SolarCity’s largest stakeholder and its chairman, and other Tesla directors breached their fiduciary duties in bowing to Musk’s wishes and agreeing to buy the company. In what the plaintiffs call a clear conflict of interest, SolarCity had been founded by Musk and two of his cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive. In the Delaware Court of Chancery on Monday, Baron sought to establish that Musk has sought to run Tesla without interference and therefore bears responsibility for any failures. The lawyer showed a video clip in which Musk said he liked running his own companies because he doesn’t want anyone to make him do what he doesn’t want to do. Pushing back, Musk insisted Monday that "I don’t want to be the boss of anything." "I prefer to spend my time on design and engineering," he said.

(Read more Elon Musk stories.)

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