Elon Musk ‘Pedo Guy’ Defamation Lawsuit Headed to Trial

Elon Musk at Model Y announcement
FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty

A judge has ruled that Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk will go to trial over his comments about Thai cave rescue hero Vern Unsworth, who Musk called “pedo guy.”

The Verge reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has had a request to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed against him by British cave rescuer Vern Unsworth denied by a Los Angeles judge this week. The suit focuses on tweets from Musk in which he referred to Unsworth as a “pedo guy” and emails to BuzzFeed journalist Ryan Mac in which Musk directly calls Unsworth a pedophile.

US District Judge Stephen Wilson has ruled that a jury will determine whether or not those tweets and emails count as recklessly negligent. In July 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, Unsworth 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.

Musk outright called Unsworth a “child rapist” in his emails to BuzzFeed journalist Ryan Mac and stated: “I f*cking hope he sues me.” It appears that Musk’s wish has come true.

Following Breitbart News’ previous coverage of Unsworth’s lawsuit against Musk, 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 lnolan@breitbart.com

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