Elon Musk facing libel lawsuit from British rescue diver who he called a ‘pedo’
High-profile defamation lawyer Lin Wood says he is preparing a libel lawsuit against Elon Musk on behalf of British cave rescue diver Vern Unsworth, who Musk labelled a “pedo” in a Twitter tirade in July.
Musk had lashed out at Unsworth after the experienced spelunker — or cave exploration expert — ridiculed the billionaire entrepreneur’s idea to use a miniature submarine to rescue 12 Thai boys and a soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand, and suggested that the idea was little more than a PR stunt.
“He can stick his submarine where it hurts,” Unsworth told CNN, prompting Musk to take to Twitter and call Unsworth a “pedo guy,” question his credentials and suggest it was suspicious that a British man would live in Thailand.
On Tuesday, a Twitter user called out Musk for calling Unsworth a “pedo,” to which the Tesla and SpaceX CEO retorted, “You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me? He was offered free legal services.”
But Musk received a rude awakening in the form of a reply from attorney Wood, who tweeted that Musk “should check his mail before tweeting,” and shared an image of the defamation notice.
In the letter, Wood tells Musk that he has been retained as Unsworth’s lawyer, and that the lawsuit concerns Musk’s Twitter comments about Unsworth being a pedophile.
“More specifically, you published through three different tweets to your twenty-two million followers that Mr. Unsworth engages in the sexual exploitation of Thai children, and you did so at a time when he was working to save the lives of twelve Thai children,” states the letter.
“You did so without any basis. According to a subsequent Twitter post, you did so out of anger.”
Wood’s letter concludes by inviting Musk or his lawyers to reach out to explore the possibility of a public apology and settlement to potentially avoid litigation.
The controversy is one of several that Musk has found himself in lately as a result of his Twitter exploits.
Earlier this month, he tweeted that he had secured funding to take Tesla private, before stating that he actually didn’t secure the money, and then going on to say that the deal was in fact totally off the table.
WATCH: Is it time for Elon Musk to step away from Tesla?
The episode prompted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to probe whether Musk and Tesla intentionally made misleading statements to influence markets, something that’s prohibited by regulations.
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