Elon Musk in court dances around meaning of ‘pedo guy’ tweet
Wednesday, 4 December 2019 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elon Musk has owned up to insulting a British spelunker in a rash tweet, but wouldn’t concede on the witness stand that he called the man a pedophile.
The Tesla CEO returns to the witness stand Wednesday after spending several hours at his defamation trial trying to dance around the meaning of the “pedo guy” tweet he aimed at Vernon Unsworth, a cave diver who helped rescue a dozen boys and their soccer coach from a flooded Thailand cave last year.
Musk said the insult meant only “creepy old man” and did not literally mean he was calling Unsworth a pedophile.
The spat began when Unsworth ridiculed Musk’s effort in the rescue by having engineers at his companies, including Space X and The Boring Co., develop a mini-submarine that could transport the boys to safety. Despite working around the clock to build the sub in short order, Musk arrived in Thailand late in the rescue effort and the craft was never used.
Unsworth called it nothing more than a “PR stunt” and said Musk could stick the sub “where it hurts.” Musk watched the CNN clip of Unsworth several times before lashing out in a series of tweets July 15, 2018.
“It was wrong and insulting, so I insulted him back,” the billionaire told a Los Angeles federal court jury. “It was an unprovoked attack on what was a good-natured attempt to help the kids.”
Unsworth is seeking unspecified damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress from the tech entrepreneur whose net worth exceeds $20 billion.
Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, said during opening statements that Unsworth deserves nothing for what he called “joking, taunting tweets in a fight between men.”
The shame and mortification Unsworth said he experienced is undercut by the attention he received after the...
Tesla boss Elon Musk went on trial on Tuesday (December 3) for alleged defamation in appearing to describe a British diver who helped rescue a group of boys from a flooded Thailand cave as a pedophile on Twitter.