Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Economy | By

Elon Musk sued for libel by British Thai cave rescuer

Elon Musk sued for libel by British Thai cave rescuer

Elon Musk crossed the line when he called a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue a "pedo".at least according to the diver, who's now suing the billionaire.

The case is Unsworth v. Musk, 18-CV-08048, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

The feud between the 63-year-old United Kingdom diver and the Tesla CEO started over a mini-submarine Musk sent to help with the rescue in northern Thailand.

Musk and the diver, Vernon Unsworth, engaged in a public dispute in the midst of rescue attempts after Unsworth accused the billionaire entrepreneur of only offering to aid the efforts as a "PR stunt".

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.

However, on on August 28 Mr Musk tweeted again: "You don't think it's unusual he hasn't sued me?"

Mr Unsworth's lawyers say this "conveyed to the average reader that Mr Unsworth's failure to sue him was evidence that Mr Unsworth is, in fact, a paedophile and guilty of the most heinous crime".

The focus on Tesla Inc's (TSLA.O) battle to ramp up production swung to concerns over logistics and distribution on Monday, after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk acknowledged there were delivery bottlenecks and promised to swiftly iron out the delays. "Mr Unsworth is not a child rapist", the lawsuit said, adding that Mr Unsworth has never been married to a minor.

Mr Unsworth did not take part in the dives but had previously explored the cave complex extensively.

The boys, ages 11-16, were found July 2 by Mr Volanthen and Mr Stanton, according to the lawsuit.

The battle of words dates back to earlier this summer when a team of 12 Thai soccer players and their coach were trapped in a cave in Northern Thailand. The documents said a separate lawsuit would be filed in England. "Musk's influence and wealth can not convert his lies into truth or protect him from accountability for his wrongdoing in a court of law".

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