Court Wants Musk to Explain Calling Rescuer a Pedophile

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

While the decision to go ahead with the trial doesn't legally condemn Musk as guilty of these actions, it does mean that the court system believes there to be a case worthy of hearing.

Back in 2018 SpaceX founder Elon Musk labelled Vernon Unsworth, a 63-year-old cave diver, a "pedo guy" on Twitter, after the latter called the billionaire's attempt to save 12 children stuck in Thai cave with a custom-design submarine a "PR stunt".

A federal court judge in Los Angeles set an October 22 trial date in a Friday court filing that rejected Musk's attempt to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by British diver Vernon Unsworth.

Mr Musk called Mr Unsworth a "pedo" in a July 15 post on his Twitter account after Mr Unsworth, in an interview with CNN, dismissed Mr Musk's attempts to help rescue the boys as a "PR stunt".

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He then emailed Buzzfeed News and urged them to "stop defending child rapists" and look further into Mr Unsworth's background.

Unsworth has denied those allegations.

Musk's legal team retailiated by claiming that "imaginative", "over-the-top" insults could not be interpreted as statements of fact.

But the judge said Mr Musk was not communicating in "heated and volatile" settings that might explain any excesses.

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Wilson determined that given "the totality of the circumstances - including the general context of Defendant's statements, the specific context of the statements, and the statements' susceptibility of being proved true or false - a reasonable factfinder could easily conclude that Defendant's statements, as pleaded in the Complaint, implied assertions of objective fact".

Following the move, Unsworth announced that he started preparing legal action against Musk for defamation in the courts of Thailand, where Musk could get a jail sentence for his remarks.

In his lawsuit, Unsworth has requested at least $75,000 in compensatory damages plus punitive damages from Musk.

On April 30, a Manhattan federal judge approved Musk's revised settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) setting out when Musk must obtain advance approval from a Tesla securities lawyer before posting on Twitter or other social media. He also said at the time, that he wants to sue Musk in the courts of Great Britain and the US.

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