Tesla CEO Elon Musk has had a pretty eventful year as he’s been sued by the SEC and even had a muskox named after him. While that’s just scratching the surface, one of the more bizarre events occurred over the summer when he called a rescue worker a “pedo guy.”
The incident was a result of the highly publicized effort to rescue 12 boys who were trapped in flooded cave complex in Thailand. Musk and his team developed a small rescue sub to help in the recovery effort, but it didn’t end up being used. Vernon Unsworth then went on TV and criticized the sub and said Musk can “stick his submarine where it hurts.”
Musk apologized for calling Unsworth a “pedo guy,” but eventually doubled down by telling Buzzfeed he is a “child rapist” who moved to “Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.” Musk failed to provide any proof and said “I hope he fucking sues me.”
Musk got his wish a short time later and that bring us to today’s news about the lawsuit. CNBC reports that Musk’s lawyers are seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed as Twitter is “infamous for invective and hyperbole.” The motion from the lawyers also says Musk went after Unsworth over his “indefensible and baseless attack” in an effort to “defend himself and the efforts of SpaceX, Tesla, and the Boring Company employees who had given up their days and nights to help find a solution” for the boys trapped in the cave.
Unsworth’s lawyer believes the motion will fail as he told CNBC that he rejects the idea “all statements published on Twitter or other social media are protected speech” as it would “effectively prevent an individual from seeking redress for any and all false and defamatory attacks on reputation published on the Internet.”
While it’s possible the motion to dismiss the lawsuit will fail, the final outcome remains far from certain. The only thing that is clear at this point is that Unsworth is seeking at least $75,000 (£59,280 / €65,524) for libel and slander.