Lawsuit: Elon Musk Demanded an Apology from Thailand – Before Soccer Team Was Rescued

Tesla chief Elon Musk, pictured in March 2019, will take part in presentations of the new technology at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters

Recently released lawsuit documents claim that Tesla CEO Elon Musk called himself a “fucking idiot” in an email to an outside public relations consultant for emailing unverified information about British cave diver Vern Unsworth to a reporter for BuzzFeed News. According to the lawsuit, Musk and SpaceX also demanded an apology from the government of Thailand over comments made by officials — while the trapped soccer team was still awaiting rescue from the cave.

BuzzFeed News reports that in recently released court documents, the British cave rescuer who Elon Musk accused of being a “pedo guy” has hit back at the Tesla CEO accusing him of purposefully defaming him and orchestrating “a malicious, false, and anonymous leak campaign in the UK and Australian press” intended to destroy his reputation.

In July of 2018, Unsworth called Musk’s plan to rescue a group of Thai teenagers from an underwater cave using a miniature submarine a “PR stunt” and stated his belief that the 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 meters 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 court filings, Unsworthj stated that Musk was “a thin-skinned billionaire” with “a history of vindictively and intentionally ignoring truth,” and argued that Musk knew his allegations of pedophilia against Unsworth were false.

Musk hired a private investigator who was a convicted felon to investigate Unsworth who provided little evidence to back up Musk’s claims about Unsworth. Unsworth is now seeking $75,000 in damages an unspecified punitive damages to be determined by a court. Unsworth’s filing stated that Musk’s statements made in depositions and court documents were  “replete with untruths and misrepresentations” and contain a number of embarrassing revelations collected in discovery.

In an email to PR consultant Juleanna Glover on September 4, 2018, Musk stated that he was a “fucking idiot” for emailing a BuzzFeed News reporter with a number of unverified claims about Unsworth which he urged the reporter to investigate. In the emails, Musk claims that Unsworth was a “child rapist” who took “a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.”

In the email to Glover, Musk stated that he hoped providing the reporter with the unverified information would lead them to “investigate and come to their own conclusions” and “not publish my email directly.”

Unsworth’s lawyers write: “On August 24, 27, and 30, Musk received separate written reports stating that Unsworth met [his partner] when she was at least 18 or 19 years old (and married her some years after that) – but less than 8 hours after getting the last such report, Musk nonetheless told the BuzzFeed reporter that Unsworth is a child rapist who married a 12-year-old child bride.”

The court filing also notes that: “On July 10th, before the Boys were all rescued, Musk and members of his team that were supposed to be engaged in developing the Tube were instead enlisting the Thai government (including the Thai Prime Minister) to publicly reverse a statement by the Thai regional governor’s statement that the Tube was not practical and did not fit the mission.”

The full court documents claim that Sam Teller, the director of the office of the CEO for Tesla and SpaceX, who functions essentially as Musk’s chief of staff, referred to the former Thai regional governor as an “ungrateful asshole” and attempted to craft statements that would then be issued to the Thai government and then be said publicly by Thai officials. “PM should say SpaceX is awsome. Engineers helpful. Pod not necessary because this went well but it’s a useful and cool design.”

In a recent deposition, Musk discussed the submarine rescue attempt stating “I can see how this would look like a ‘narcissistic PR stunt.’”

Update — A spokesperson for Elon Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro of firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, contacted Breitbart News with this statement: “This case is nothing but a money-grab in which Unsworth has hired an agent and pursued profit, publicity and self-promotion at every turn. The truth of his motivations and actions will come out soon enough.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at


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