Diver attacked by Elon Musk as ‘pedo guy’ is prepping a libel suit – TechCrunch

A British cave diving skilled who helped save the younger Thai soccer group that were given trapped in caves this summer time is getting ready a felony motion in opposition to Elon Musk for making “false and defamatory statements”, TechCrunch has showed.

BuzzFeed reported the improvement previous, after acquiring a letter despatched to Musk’s house on August 6 by a company representing the diver, Vernon Unsworth.

The background right here is that during a extremely offensive and very unusual episode ultimate month — even for the famously ‘loose cannon online’ Musk — the Tesla and SpaceX CEO took to Twitter to assault Unsworth, branding him a “pedo guy”.

The unusual assault got here after Unsworth had given a essential interview to the media pronouncing the mini sub which Musk had designed and delivered to Thailand “had absolutely no chance of working”. Unsworth ended an interview section by suggesting Musk must “stick his submarine where it hurts” — a tongue-in-cheek word which it seems that prompted Musk’s Twitter outburst.

Facing a backlash over his feedback about a guy who had effectively helped rescue the men, Musk due to this fact deleted the offensive tweets and quasi-apologized for slurring Unsworth in a additional set of tweets, on July 18, even though those had been simplest posted inside a Twitter thread, relatively than being broadcast to his ~22.4M Twitter fans.

At the time Musk mentioned Unsworth’s remark had angered him, and that had made him lash out, however he additionally added: “Nonetheless, his actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologize to Mr. Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader. The fault is mine and mine alone.”

The public part of the episode may have ended there however previous this week Musk dredged all of it up once more by repeating his offensive insinuation in opposition to Unsworth right through a debate with ex-TechCrunch journalist Drew Olanoff — who had introduced up the “pedo guy” assault as an instance of Musk himself telling untruths.

Yet as a substitute of reiterating his apology to Unsworth, Musk doubled down on his authentic offensive assault — writing: “You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me? He was offered free legal services.”

To which Olanoff answered: “What I think is especially strange here is that you’re wondering why he hasn’t sued you while the rest of us are wondering why you did something so egregious that he could sue you for in the first place.”

We contacted the legislation company for affirmation that it is representing Mr Unsworth in a defamation suit in opposition to Musk. Partner Lin Wood was once unavailable to discuss the topic once we known as however he showed by way of electronic mail that the company is representing Unsworth in a defamation suit in opposition to Musk, and that it is getting ready a felony motion.

In the letter despatched by the company to Musk’s house previous this month Wood informs Musk he has been retained by Unsworth because of the defamatory statements made by Musk on Twitter alleging that he is a pedophile.

Wood additionally writes that he is getting ready a civil criticism of libel and invitations Musk to touch him “in an attempt to avoid litigation and to see the public record corrected”.

It’s now not transparent whether or not or now not Musk had noticed the letter on the time of his tweets to Olanoff.

We’ve reached out to Musk (by way of Twitter) for remark at the felony motion and to invite whether or not he’ll be taking flight his repeat allegation in opposition to Unsworth. We’ll replace this tale with any reaction.

The Tesla CEO’s erratic conduct on-line has brought about different prime profile complications for his corporations in fresh weeks, after he tweeted about taking Tesla non-public — triggering wild swings within the inventory value and scrutiny (and attainable issues) from the Securities and Exchange Commission, just for the speculation to be nixed weeks later.

The related dangers for shareholders in a public corporate whose CEO makes use of Twitter as a weapon to indulge private spats and feuds — and to spitball main industry choices — with out, it seems that, any idea for the felony and reputational penalties for him or his corporations, are onerous to quantify however similarly tricky to disclaim.

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