Billionaire Elon Musk says he’s strapped for cash after being sued for defamation over ‘pedo guy’ comments
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is being sued for libel and slander for calling a British rescue diver a “pedo,” has testified that he is short of funds. That’s according to the accuser’s lawyer in a legal filing seen by Bloomberg.
The filing from the attorney of 63-year-old plaintiff Vernon Unsworth makes reference to “Musk’s sworn testimony that he is financially illiquid.”
Unsworth played a key role in the rescue of a Thai youth football team from a cave last year. The trouble began when he criticized the miniature submarine Musk sent to Thailand, calling it a publicity stunt and telling the billionaire to “stick his submarine where it hurts.”
Musk responded on Twitter by calling Unsworth a “pedo guy,” but later deleted the tweet and issued an apology after the Brit threatened a lawsuit. Musk later doubled down on the accusation by calling Unsworth a “child rapist” in emails to a BuzzFeed reporter.
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Musk’s lawyers have argued that the statements were simply insults and not accusations of pedophilia.
According to estimates, Musk is worth $23.6 billion, though a substantial majority of his wealth comes in the form of stock in SpaceX (worth $14.6 billion) and Tesla (worth $8.8 billion).
An attorney for Musk, Alex Spiro, told Business Insider the businessman clarified that much of his net worth is committed to his companies. “Of course Mr. Unsworth’s lawyers are focused on this, since the entire case is nothing but a money-grab,” he said.
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