Thursday, 21 November, 2019

Musk hired detective to investigate man behind ‘pedo guy’ lawsuit

Elon Musk says 'pedo man' didn't mean what people thought it meant Elon Musk says 'pedo guy' insult not defamation, cave diver 'seemed like a creepy old man'
Russell Knight | 19 September, 2019, 14:21

"'Pedo guy" was a common insult used in South Africa when I was growing up. "It is synonymous with "creepy old man" and is used to insult a person's appearance and demeanor, not accuse a person of pedophila".

He posted the tweet after the diver Vernon Unsworth accused Mr Musk in a CNN interview of taking the limelight after offering to help Mr Unsworth's diving team rescue the soccer team in July 2018. The outspoken entrepreneur famously called Unsworth "pedo guy" on Twitter after the diver said the mini-submarine Musk built to help with the rescue was nothing but a "PR stunt".

The row between Musk and Mr Unsworth began after the diver dismissed his offer to help and said he could "stick his submarine where it hurts" on July 13 a year ago.

In April, a federal judge in Los Angeles rejected Musk's request to dismiss Unsworth's case.

"I did not intend to accuse Mr Unsworth of engaging in acts of paedophilia", he added. "In response to his insults in the CNN interview, I meant to insult him back by expressing my opinion that he seemed like a creepy old man".

Mr Lin Wood said he will respond to Mr Musk's court filing on the tweets in three weeks.

However, Mr Musk said the email which was sent in August 2018 was "off the record".

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Additionally, Musk says, the investigator "reported that Mr. Unsworth associated with Europeans who engage in improper sexual conduct in Thailand and had been travelling to Thailand since the 1980s".

It was also revealed on Monday that Musk had allegedly funded a private investigator to look into Unsworth.

Musk, the South African-born billionaire who grew up in Pretoria, got into a verbal spat with one of the official rescue team members on site. He called Musk's motion "as offensive to the truth as was his original tweet".

Howard wrote: "Mr. Unsworth is 63 years old".

The defamation trial is scheduled for 2 December. "If we can establish that Mr. Unsworth was a regular visitor to this part of Thailand which is not known for its extensive cave networks then this is something that may support the assumption that he is a 'Sexpat.'" Birchall said in a sworn statement that when he shared the information obtained from Howard with Musk that he "did not know or believe that information was untrue".

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y vehicle at the company's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif., in March.

For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

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