British cave rescuer launches libel lawsuit against Elon Musk for calling him a ‘pedo’
Court documents show Unsworth is suing for libel, assault and slander. He is suing in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The lawsuit seeks at least $75,000 of compensatory damages, plus unspecified punitive damages.
Unsworth, an ex-pat Brit who lives in Thailand, was part of the team working to rescue a young soccer team and their coach who were stranded in a Thai cave for days with limited oxygen when waters rose in July.
At the time, Musk offered his help in the rescue by building a mini-submarine that could reportedly navigate the cave system to get the boys out.
Unsworth, when asked about Musk’s submarine, told CNN that Musk could stick his submarine “where it hurts,” saying the contraption was never a viable option for the rescue.
Musk then tweeted, calling Unsworth a “pedo guy.”
However, Musk didn’t offer any evidence to support his claim.
Defamation lawyer Lin Wood previously said he was bringing the suit, and sent Musk’s lawyers a letter, inviting them to reach out to discuss a settlement. Wood posted the letter on Twitter.
In the letter, Wood tells Musk that he had been retained as Unsworth’s lawyer, and that the lawsuit concerns Musk’s Twitter comments about Unsworth being a pedophile.
“Despite his total lack of information supporting his false and defamatory accusations, Musk overtly conveyed to the world that he was in possession of undisclosed false and defamatory facts proving Mr. Unsworth to be guilty of the accusations,” the complaint said.
Thailand has developed a reputation as a haven for sex tourists from the U.K., with former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson even alluding to the issue during a speech about Brexit earlier this year. No evidence has been brought forward on Musk’s claim.
— with files from Reuters and Global News reporter Rahul Kalvapalle
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