Elon Musk Goes to Trial For 'Pedo Guy' Tweet

Andrew Cummings
May 13, 2019

The news comes after Vernon Unsworth - who helped in the rescue effort to free the boys from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system last summer - filed a defamation suit in September over Musk's repeated claims that the diver was a paedophile.

A U.S. judge on Friday said Elon Musk must face a defamation lawsuit by a British diver who said he was falsely branded a paedophile and child rapist by the chief executive of electric vehicle company Tesla Inc. Additional emails from Musk to Buzzfeed allegedly involved the business magnate saying Unsworth-who was instrumental in the retrieval of a Thai youth soccer team who almost drowned in a cave-had moved to Southeast Asia to take a 12-year-old "child bride".

Musk set out how the submarine could successfully save the trapped schoolchildren, and also called Unsworth a "pedo guy".

But after rescuers said it would not be practical for the mission, Mr Unsworth rejected the offer and said it was a "PR stunt' and Mr Musk could "stick his submarine where it hurts".


"Never saw this British expat guy who lives in Thailand (sus) at any point when we were in the caves", he tweeted in July.

Later he added: "Bet ya a dollar it's true".

Unsworth dismissed the Space X entrepreneur's attempt as a "publicity stunt" in an interview with CNN, prompting Musk to hit back online.

Mr Musk soon apologised and deleted the offending tweets, saying he had acted "in anger".


He then emailed Buzzfeed News and urged them to "stop defending child rapists" and look further into Mr Unsworth's background.

Musk's defense team has written off the insults as hyperbole, but the US judge last month denied the request to dismiss the suit brought by Unsworth.

Mr Musk's lawyers argued that because his statement was made on Twitter, it was protected opinion under the US First Amendment and declared that "the public knew from the outset that Musk's insults were not meant to be statements of fact".

"There is nothing about the context in which [Musk ] made the statements.that would create doubt as to whether [Musk's] statements implied assertions of objective fact", Wilson wrote.


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