Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has managed to land in another controversy over a rescue mission he engineered in Thailand using a mini-sub. According to filings in court, Musk asked his employees to force Thai officials into praising him.
An embarrassing event
Musk can easily be crowned the king of controversy, but his most embarrassing incident was when he labeled Vernon Unsworth a “child rapist” and a “pedo guy.” Note that Unsworth is an expert diver and spelunker who criticized Musk’s involvement in a Thai rescue mission. It occurred when a soccer coach and his team of 12 boys were stuck in a flooded cave. Musk sent a mini-Sub to Thailand at the time to help them.
Unsworth filed a defamation case against Musk recently. The details of the filing were released on Monday which presenting some damning evidence against the Tesla and SpaceX CEO. Note that the whole episode started with Musk suggesting that he is working on a mini-submarine alongside his team that could carry the victims out of their helpless position. Unsworth commented during a TV interview that such a pod wouldn’t be of help. This triggered Musk who ranted against the diver online.
Unsworth unveils details of the case
According to Unsworth, Elon Musk and some of his affiliates went on to pay private investigators to find damning facts about the diver. One of the people tasked to do this task was a convicted felon. His team also pressurized the Thai officials to praise Musk and the mini-submarine while they were busy carrying out a deadly rescue mission.
Musk claimed last month that Unsworth has no reason to file a defamation case against him. He said that he didn’t really mean to call Unsworth a pedophile and was only using slang in his online rant. However, the plaintiff’s legal team didn’t take his comments at face value and said that the case should not be scrapped. L. Lin Wood and his team argued that the CEO had made several false and contradictory statements while under oath to protect himself.
“Musk’s accusations are false, defamatory, and were published negligently and with actual malice. His motion for summary judgment must be denied.”
Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro has called this defamation case a money-grab scheme. He even suggested that Unsworth is working with an agent and intends to gain self-promotion and publicity alongside profits.
The attorneys from both sides are going back and forth on the issue in public.