Published: Sat, December 07, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Lawyer says Musk should pay $190 million for 'pedo guy' tweet

Lawyer says Musk should pay $190 million for 'pedo guy' tweet

In court testimony, Musk said the "pedo guy" tweet he shared with his 22 million followers was an off-the-cuff insult and did not mean he was accusing Unsworth - a financial consultant who shares his time between Britain and Thailand - of being a pedophile.

Musk told the jury he found Unsworth's comments in the CNN interview wrong and insulting - especially to his team which he said worked hard to help in the rescue effort - and so he fired back.

"My opinion, as I sit here today, is it was a PR stunt".

Unsworth's lawsuit focuses on three Musk tweets on July 15, 2018, five days after the diver helped complete the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from the cave.

At the trial, Unsworth's lawyers argued that the term "pedo guy" suggested Musk said the diver was a pedophile, but reports from the jury suggest their case wasn't thorough enough to prove the tweet damaging.

"I wonder what it was about the celebrity billionaire Elon Musk that enabled him to escape all sanction for making a hugely damaging allegation against a private person which he admitted was completely baseless", Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman tweeted.

Mr Musk told the court this week the phrase "pedo guy" was common in South Africa, where he grew up.

Musk, 48, who was questioned throughout the afternoon on Tuesday by Unsworth's lawyer, has maintained his composure.

The case was expected to go to the jury later in the day after closing arguments end.

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Pictured: The Queen , Princess Anne attend the annual Braemar Highland Gathering on September 1, 2018 in Braemar, Scotland. The iconoclastic princess eschewed royal titles for her children, worked diligently despite being entitled to idle.

"I'm not sure how I need to apologise", the caver, Vernon Unsworth, told a United States jury on Thursday (Friday NZ time).

BuzzFeed News reported Friday that the Tesla and SpaceX CEO commented "my faith in humanity is restored" as he left the courtroom.

After being instructed on the law by Judge Stephen Wilson Friday, and hearing final arguments from lawyers for Unsworth and Musk, the jury will began deliberations.

Musk also testified that his tweet was provoked by Unsworth who had said of the Tesla CEO's rescue plan "he can stick his submarine where it hurts".

Later, he asked why Unsworth hadn't sued him.

The "pedo-guy" tweet was "totally false", she said.

Mr Musk sent Tesla engineers and a small submarine to help with the Thai rescue effort, but it was never used.

To win his lawsuit, Unsworth needs to show Musk was negligent in publishing a falsehood that clearly identified him and caused him harm.

But the jury found Musk's arguments more convincing.

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