Court documents have revealed that Tesla chief executive Elon Musk admitted he was a “f***ing idiot” for how he acted during last year’s ‘pedo guy’ saga.
In a new filing in the defamation case brought by British diver Vernon Unsworth who Musk called a ‘pedo guy’, said was a child rapist, and accused of marrying a 12-year-old girl from Thailand, an email sent by Musk to a PR agent offers an insight into what the outspoken executive was thinking when making the accusations in an email to Buzzfeed.
“I didn’t expect Buzzfeed to publish an off-the-record email. My intent was to have them investigate and come to their own conclusions, not publish my email directly,” Musk’s email to the PR agent reads. “Still, I’m a f***ing idiot…It was still one of the dumber things I’ve ever done.”
Musk’s infamous email sent to Buzzfeed was prefaced with a message that it was ‘off-the-record.’ In journalism lingo, that basically means what is said shouldn’t be reported. Unfortunately for Musk, Buzzfeed never agreed to off-the-record discussions with Musk and his email was swiftly published.
Musk paid a private investigator at least $50,000 to investigate Unsworth. The Tesla boss made the accusation Unsworth married a 12-year-old child bride after information he received from this investigator. The accusation was untrue and earlier this month it was revealed that the investigator, James Howard-Higgins, was a convicted felon who had served time in prison for fraud and fed false information to Musk.
“[These are] false, heinous accusations by Elon Musk, a thin-skinned billionaire who is obsessed with his public image and who has a history of vindictively and intentionally ignoring truth to maintain that PR-created image,” the filing states.
Unsworth is seeking $75,000 from Musk and unspecified punitive damages for defamation.