Elon Musk to face trial over 'pedo' claim against rescue diver

Elon Musk to face trial over 'pedo' claim against rescue diver

Musk tweeted the insult last summer after the underwater rescue of young football players trapped in a Thailand cave.

Enigmatic businessman and Tesla CEO Elon Musk faced massive backlash in September after calling British cave explorer Vernon Unsworth a "pedo guy" on his Twitter account, which now has 26.4 million followers. In December, lawyers for Musk filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed, arguing that "over-the-top insults are not statements of fact".

Elon Musk has a trial date over allegedly defaming a detractor in a series of tweets, a US judge ruled.

A spokesperson for Tesla did not immediately return a request for comment.

Taken together, they allowed Judge Wilson to conclude "There is nothing about the context in which [Musk] made the statements.that would create doubt as to whether [Musk's] statements implied assertions of objective fact".

Unsworth, was the first foreigner on the scene and played a key role in getting all 13 people out of the cave safely, he reportedly said at the time, quoted by CNN, that Musk's proposal was "just a PR stunt" that "had absolutely no chance of working".

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In September 2018, Mr Unsworth sued Mr Musk for libel and slander and alleged that Mr Musk began a campaign to destroy his reputation "by publishing false and heinous accusations of criminality against him to the public". He also urged a BuzzFeed News reporter by email to investigate Unsworth and "stop defending child rapists".

Mr Musk later apologised on Twitter saying: "My words were spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub, which had been built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader".

"He's an old, single white guy from England who's been travelling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time", Musk continued.

But the good news story was somewhat tainted after it became overshadowed by some tweets from Elon Musk calling one of the divers "pedo guy".

Wilson has set the court date for October 22.

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