Elon Musk calls Thailand diver 'child rapist' in latest baseless attack
Elon Musk Elon Musk calls Thailand diver 'child rapist' in latest baseless attack
Tesla CEO, who previously called Vernon Unsworth a âpedoâ, has faced widespread backlash over his comments
Elon Musk has escalated his baseless attacks against a British diver, claiming without evidence that the man who helped rescue children from a cave in Thailand was a âchild rapistâ in an email t o a reporter.
The embattled Tesla CEO faced widespread backlash in July when he first called the diver Vernon Unsworth a âpedoâ in a tweet â" an unfounded claim against a man who was part of the international team that freed 12 young footballers and their coach from the Tham Luang cave complex. Musk, who had unsuccessfully attempted to assist the rescue mission, eventually apologized to Unsworth.Elon Musk's 'pedo' claim is evidence only of his grossly inflated ego | Zoe Williams Read more
On Tuesday, however, BuzzFeed published two new emails from Musk, in which he called a journalist who has written about the dispute a âfucking assholeâ and he launched new extraordinary claims against Unsworth, without providing documentation to support the allegations.
Musk called Unsworth a âsingle white guy from England whoâs been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 yearsâ, alleging that he had moved to Chiang Rai â for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the timeâ. He asserted that the city was ârenowned for child sex-traffickingâ.
BuzzFeed reported that it had investigated the allegations and Unsworthâs background, but could not verify any of the claims and said that it was unclear where the allegations originated.
Unsworth, who said he was considering legal action after the original insults on Twitter, is now moving forward with a lawsuit, his lawyer said in an email to the Guardian on Tuesday: âElon Muskâs campaign of publishing vile and false accusations against Mr Unsworth is inexcusa ble. Musk hopes to be sued and he deserves to be sued. He will be.â
Muskâs email to BuzzFeed, which was a response to Unsworthâs latest legal threats, said: âI suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out whatâs actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you fucking asshole â¦ As for this alleged threat of a lawsuit, which magically appeared when I raised the issue (nothing was sent or raised beforehand), I fucking hope he sues me.â
Musk also defended his original effort to help the rescue mission in a follow-up email.
Musk confirmed to the Guardian on Tuesday that he had sent the email but did not immediately comment further. Tesla spokespeople did not respond to a request for comment.
BuzzFeed said it could not locate any UK criminal records for Unsworth, 63, and also spoke with his girlfriend, who said she was 40 and had been with him for seven years.
The controversy comes at a time when Tesla and Musk conti nue to battle intense negative publicity and embarrassing controversies. His seemingly impulsive tweets have repeatedly led him into trouble. Notably, Musk recently tweeted that he had âsecuredâ funding to take his electric car company private, which prompted scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and backlash from investors.
Earlier this year, Teslaâs credit rating was downgraded to negative, with Moodyâs citing a âsignificant shortfallâ in the Model 3 production rate. The CEO also faced criticism after he slammed analysts on an earnings call in the spring, saying they should stop asking âboring, bonehead questionsâ.
After the first attack on Unsworth, some investors demanded an apology and criticized Musk for distracting from Teslaâs mission.
Julia Carrie Wong contributed reportingTopics
- Elon Musk
- Sha re on Facebook
- Share on Twitter
- Share via Email
- Share on LinkedIn
- Share on Pinterest
- Share on Google+
- Share on WhatsApp
- Share on Messenger
- Reuse this content