Elon Musk stated in a recent court filing that his use of the term “pedo guy” to describe Vern Unsworth, the British cave rescuer critical of Musk’s plans during efforts to save a Thai soccer team from an underwater cave, was not meant to imply that Unsworth was a pedophile.
BuzzFeed News reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk paid a private investigator $50,000 to unearth incriminating evidence on British cave rescuer Vern Unsworth. Musk has called Unsworth “a pedo guy” after Unsworth criticized Musk’s plans to build a miniature submarine to save a group of Thai children trapped in an underwater cave.
Musk stated in a recent court filing: “I did not intend to convey any facts or imply that Mr. Unsworth had engaged in acts of pedophilia. 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 pedophilia.”
In July of 2018, Unsworth called Musk’s plan a “PR stunt” and stated his belief that the miniature submarine would have failed completely to make it through the tight, narrow bends in the underwater cave. “He can stick his submarine where it hurts,” Unsworth said in an interview. “It had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine, I believe, was about five foot six long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone round corners or round any obstacles. It wouldn’t have made the first 50 metres into the cave from the dive start point. Just a PR stunt.”
Musk claimed that his submarine could easily have navigated the cave, telling Unsworth in a now-deleted tweet: “You know what, don’t bother showing the video. We will make one of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo. Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”
In a rant to a BuzzFeed News journalist that Musk considered off the record, Musk once again claimed that Unsworth was a pedophile and that he had married a 12-year-old bride in Thailand. Musk stated in an email: “I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you f****** a**hole.” Musk continued to state: “He’s an old, single white guy from England who’s been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.”
In a recent court filing related to Unworth’s defamation suit, Jared Birchall, president of Excession LLC, Musk’s family office, wrote that he hired James Howard a private investigator and president of Jupiter Military & Tactical Systems in August of 2018 to investigation Unsworth. Howard reached out to Musk “to provide investigation services” under the alias “James Brickhouse.”
On August 27, 2018, in an email from Birchall to Howard, who has claimed to have worked with MI5 and for billionaires such as George Soros, Birchall said: “There is some urgency to the situation. We believe there are planned attacks in the media and/or a lawsuit that are imminent. With that said, we aren’t looking to frame anyone.” Birchall included a number of questions that he and Musk wanted answers to.
August 30, 2018, Howard sent a dossier on Unsworth to Birchall which included a number of unverified claims about his actions in Thailand. Howard wrote: “Mr. Unsworth is 63 years old. His wife we believe is 30, (we will confirm this in the next 48hrs) which would have put her at 18/19 when they first met. The target would have been 52 yrs old at the time.”
Howard also attempted to link Unsworth to the Thai resort city of Pattaya, an area which Unsworth stated in a sworn deposition that he has never even visited. “If this is the case that Mr. Unsworth chose to live in Pattaya Beach before moving to Northern Thailand, then it would be a strong indicator as to his lifestyle interests,” the report read. “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.”
Unsworth’s lawyer said in a statement: “The motion filed by Elon Musk today is a disgusting and transparent effort to continue falsely smearing Vernon Unsworth without any credible or verified supporting evidence. Mr. Unsworth’s opposition to Musk’s motion will reveal the whole truth of Musk’s actions and the falsity of his public statements and his motion with respect to Mr. Unsworth will be exposed.”
Musk said during a deposition with Unsworth’s legal team in Beverly Hills that his research into Unsworth began when he googled “Chiang Rai” following Unsworth’s appearance on CNN International when he criticized Musk’s plans. “When I said ‘pedo guy,’ I didn’t mean that he was literally a pedophile; it was just an insult,” Musk said. “But after getting this information from this investigator through Jared, I was like, well, maybe he is actually a pedophile. Is this possible?”
Musk also reportedly mentioned Jeffrey Epstein in his deposition as a motivation to inform reporters about his suspicions about Unsworth. It was revealed shortly after Epstein’s reported suicide that Musk had been to several events with Epstein following his guilty plea for soliciting prostitution from an underage girl and that Musk had visited Epstein’s home “several years ago.”
Musk said in his deposition: “I am told this information. I don’t know if it is true. But what if we have another Jeffrey Epstein on our hands? And what if he uses whatever celebrity he gains from the cave rescue to shield his bad deed? That would be terrible.” He added: “The investigator appeared to be credible. I did not make these comments on the record. I didn’t mean for them ever to be published in any way, shape, or form.” Except for when he published tweets himself accusing Unsworth of being a pedophile, it seems.