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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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Elon Musk, tesla
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. (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.

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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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Elon Musk May Buy GM Plant to Increase Tesla Production

Elon Musk, who was the Chairman of Tesla for three years, stepped down in September

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Musk may buy GM plant to boost Tesla production. (VOA)

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has shown interest in buying a defunct General Motors (GM) plant to increase production of its electric cars.

In an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” on Friday, Musk said “it’s possible” he would purchase a GM factory in North America if the company is “going to sell a plant or not use it”.

“It’s possible that we would be interested if (GM) are going to sell a plant or not use it that we would take it over,” Musk said.

According to Washington Examiner, Tesla bought a plant in Fremont, California in 2010, jointly owned by General Motors and Toyota, for $42 million shortly after it was shut down.

GM announced in November they are closing three assembly factories in North America.

Elon Musk, tesla
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. (Wikimedia Commons)

“The whole point of Tesla is to accelerate the advent of electric vehicles sustainable transport and trying to help the environment. It’s the most serious problem that humanity faces,” Musk said.

Elon Musk, who was the Chairman of Tesla for three years, stepped down in September.

Also Read- Italian Regulators Fine Facebook 10 mn Euros

He paid a $20 million fine in a deal with the stock market regulatory authority, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve securities fraud charges.

Robyn Denholm from Telstra has been appointed as the Chairwoman of the Tesla Board. Musk, however, remains Tesla’s chief executive and the biggest investor. (IANS)