Elon Musk, who called a British national “pedo guy” for publicly flogging his fragile ego over the Thai cave submarine fiasco last year, will evidently defend himself during his testimony in court by claiming that he didn’t call Unsworth a pedophile.
British diver Vernon Unsworth—who aided in the effort to rescue a group of young athletes who became trapped in a cave in Thailand last year—sued Musk for defamation over the pedophile remark last year, and this entire thread has been exactly as dumb and tiresome as any other dust-up over Musk’s incredibly bad tweets.
Musk and his lawyers have used some creative tactics in attempting to defend the bad tweet in question, including by contending that “over-the-top insults are not statements of fact” and claiming that “pedo guy” does not actually mean what people think it means.
Both Musk and Unsworth will testify during a jury trial scheduled for December 3rd in a Los Angeles district court. According to Reuters, Musk’s attorney Alexander Spiro stated in court on Monday that Musk will testify “that in fact, Mr. Musk didn’t call [Unsworth] a pedophile. Mr. Musk deleted the tweet, apologised and moved on.”
The entire incident stemmed from an interview in which Unsworth publicly criticised Musk’s parachuting into the highly time-sensitive Thai cave rescue effort of a team of school-aged soccer players. Unsworth told CNN in an interview last year that Musk’s mini-submarine endeavour was a “PR stunt” and said he could “stick his submarine where it hurts.” Musk then fired off the tweet to his tens of millions of followers in which he referred to Unsworth as “pedo guy.”
Musk did indeed apologise for sending the tweet in July, claiming—on Twitter because where the fuck else—that his “words were spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub, which had been built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader.”
However, just months later in September, Musk told a BuzzFeed reporter to “stop defending child rapists, you fucking arsehole.” He also told the reporter that he hoped Unsworth “fucking sues me,” and here we are.
Musk has testified, per court records, “that ‘pedo guy’ was a common insult used in South Africa during his youth” and that the insult is “synonymous with ‘creepy old man’ and aimed at mocking a person’s appearance and demeanour, not an accusation of pedophilia.” This seems like a highly suspect defence of a term Musk otherwise seemed to have intended to mean what everyone suspected it meant, but I’m no judge.
I do know that I, unlike Musk, don’t have tens of millions of dollars lying around to blow on paying for my own dumbass tweets.