Elon Musk, the billionaire business magnate is being sued by a British Diver who says that Musk has falsely and directly accused him of being a pedophile and a ‘child rapist.’
Vernon Unsworth, who lives in London, UK, alleges that Elon Musk falsely made comments about him on the Twitter social media platform earlier this year, after the dramatic rescue of a dozen youth soccer players from a flooded cave complex in Thailand that garnered worldwide media attention.
Unsworth’s lawsuit is asking for $75,000 as compensation, as well as costs, and also an injunction against Elon Musk that will prevent him from making further allegations. Lawyers for Mr Unsworth said in their lawsuit that Mr Musk had embarked on a deliberate campaign of defamation “to destroy” the reputation of Mr Unsworth “by publishing false and heinous accusations of criminality.”
The original war of words between the two began during the rescue operation in July.
In a bid to help with the rescue of the trapped youths, Musk and a team of engineers from his Space flight company conceived of, built, and shipped a tiny submarine with the intention of using it to ferry the trapped soccer team one by one to safety. In the end the sub wasn’t used.
In an interview with media however, Unsworth dismissed Musk’s efforts, and referred to the submersible as nothing more than a “PR stunt,” that had “had absolutely no chance of working,” and that Musk “had no conception of what the cave passage was like,” ending the interview with the thought that Elon Musk could “stick his submarine somewhere where it hurts.” The words were somewhat undiplomatic to say the least.
After the boys had been freed, Musk published correspondence showing he had been in direct communication with the leader of the rescue operation, who had urged him to continue with building and transporting the small submarine to the entrance of the flooded caves. Musk even received a letter from the Thai prime minister thanking him for his efforts.
Musk’s responses to Unsworth’s interview, were also somewhat undiplomatic, to say the least.
Seemingly stung by the charge that his offer to help was mostly concerned with self-promotion, Musk tweeted a venomous reply accusing Unsworth of being a ‘pedo.’ Another tweet followed afterwards alleging that Unsworth was only in Thailand so he could secure a child bride.
Condemnation of Musk was swift for the accusations, and Musk later deleted the tweets and apologized.
The row erupted recently however when Buzzfeed published the contents of an email Musk sent them, in which he said:
“I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you fucking asshole,” Musk wrote in the first message. “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.”
“As for this alleged threat of a lawsuit, which magically appeared when I raised the issue (nothing was sent or raised beforehand), I f***ing hope he sues me,” he added.
Well, be careful what you wish for, I suppose; now he has.