Thursday October 18, 2018
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Tesla’s Musk Sued For Defamation

Musk urged a BuzzFeed reporter to "stop defending child rapists," and then said Unsworth spent decades in Thailand until moving to Chiang Rai.

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Musk faces lawsuits for 'paedo' remark, Tesla tweet. (Wikimedia Commons)
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Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, was sued for defamation on Monday for falsely suggesting that a British caver who helped save 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thailand cave in July was a pedophile and child rapist.

Vernon Unsworth sued over Musk’s reference to him in a July 15 tweet as a “pedo guy,” a comment for which Musk later apologized. The suit also claims that Musk called Unsworth a child rapist and sex trafficker in an Aug. 30 email to BuzzFeed News.

Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Musk and the company.

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Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles seeks at least $75,000 of compensatory damages, plus unspecified punitive damages.

The case adds to a slew of litigation against Musk, including over his running of Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, which the billionaire has said has caused him severe stress.

Unsworth became a target for Musk after cave rescuers rejected Musk’s offer of a mini-submarine created by his rocket company SpaceX to rescue the soccer team, which was finally freed after 18 days in the cave on July 10.

Though Unsworth told CNN three days later Musk’s offer was a “PR stunt” that had no chance of working and that Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts,” he said that did not justify Musk’s use of Twitter and the media to defame him.

TESLA
Thai cave rescue: Extraction of remaining soccer team members

The July 15 tweet by Musk touted the mini-submarine and then, referring to Unsworth with a shorthand description of pedophile, said, “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”

Musk apologized on July 18, referring to Unsworth in saying “his actions against me do not justify my actions against him,” and that “the fault is mine and mine alone.”

But the complaint said that in the August 30 email, Musk urged a BuzzFeed reporter to “stop defending child rapists,” and then said Unsworth spent decades in Thailand until moving to Chiang Rai, “renowned for child sex-trafficking,” to take a 12-year-old bride.

Also Read: Elon Musk Apologises To UK Driver For Calling Him a ‘Pedo’

Unsworth said all of these accusations were false, and that the defamatory statements “were manufactured out of whole cloth by Musk out of a belief on his part that his wealth and stature allowed him to falsely accuse Mr. Unsworth with impunity” because he disagreed with him about the mini-submarine.

The case is Unsworth v Musk, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 18-08048. (VOA)

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James Murdoch Isn’t Taking Over Tesla: Elon Musk

Musk is still the CEO of Tesla.

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Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has denied that James Murdoch, the younger son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, is going to replace him at electric car maker Tesla.

Reacting to a Financial Times report that claimed James Murdoch was going to join Tesla as Chairman, Musk tweeted on Thursday that this was not true.

Tesla CEO Elon musk
Elon Musk agrees to step down as Chairman (VOA)

“This is incorrect,” tweeted Musk, reacting to the report.

James Murdoch, who serves as a director on Tesla’s board, is set to end his innings as 21st Century Fox’s CEO.

Media reports have also thrown names like former Vice President Al Gore and Jim McNerney of Boeing as potential candidates to lead Tesla.

tesla, maezawa, elon musk
Tesla has become the most valuable American carmaker, with its stock worth more than $50 billion. Pixabay

Coming under pressure from his lawyers and investors of Tesla, the tech billionaire on September 29 agreed to step down as Tesla Chairman for three years and paid a $20 million fine, in a deal with the US stock market regulatory authority, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to resolve securities fraud charges.

Also Read: Tesla Launches a New Programme That Lets You Send Images Into Space

Tesla paid another $20 million to the SEC, despite not being charged with fraud.

Musk is still the CEO of Tesla. (IANS)