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Tesla CEO Elon Musk faces trial for calling diver ‘pedo’

Musk called Unsworth a “pedo” in a July 15 post on this Twitter account after Unsworth, in an interview with CNN, dismissed Musk’s attempts to help rescue the soccer players as a “PR stunt.”

world Updated: May 11, 2019 23:11 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press
tesla,elon musk,thailand soccer team
Tesla CEO called the British diver a ‘pedo’ on Twitter in reference to the rescue mission aimed to save the a group of Thai children stuck in a cave.(AP)

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.

Musk called Unsworth a “pedo” in a July 15 post on this Twitter account after Unsworth, in an interview with CNN, dismissed Musk’s attempts to help rescue the soccer players as a “PR stunt.” Unsworth also derided the submarine that Musk had built for a rescue mission, prompting Musk to lash back on this Twitter account, which had 22.5 million followers at the time Musk contended his insult was protected from legal action, but the judge overseeing the case disagreed.

Unsworth is seeking more than $75,000 in damages from Musk, a multibillionaire. The suit also seeks a court order prohibiting Musk from making any further disparaging comments.

This is the second time in less than a year that Musk’s free-wheeling comments on Twitter have saddled him with legal headaches.

Last year, Musk and Tesla reached a $40 million settlement of allegations that he misled investors with a tweet declaring he had secured financing for a buyout of the electric car maker. He then had to go to court earlier this year to defend himself against assertions that he had violated an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission about his tweeting.

First Published: May 11, 2019 22:50 IST