Elon Musk disclosed he hired a private investigator for about $50,000 to back up his assertion at a 2018 tweet a British caver was a”pedo guy.”
“In regards to Mr. Unsworth because’pedo man,’ I did not mean to convey some facts or suggest Mr. Unsworth had participated in acts of pedophilia,” Musk said in a court filing Monday. “Pedo man was a frequent insult employed in South Africa when I was growing up. It’s synonymous with creepy older guy’ and can be used to insult an individual’s demeanor and appearance, not accuse an individual of pedophilia.”
The PI reported back that Unsworth was traveling to Thailand as the 1980s.
“The investigator learned that Mr. Unsworth frequented Pattaya Beach that’s well-known for prostitution and sex tourism, which Mr. Unsworth was filmed in the rescue website because other rescue workers believed he had been creepy,”’ Musk’s attorneys said in the filing.
Musk’s legal team asked the judge to dismiss the case before a scheduled Dec. 2 trial, asserting that a BuzzFeed post about his tiff with Unsworth and his tweets do not fulfill the legal quality of defamation. They requested the judge to deal with Unsworth as a”public figure” for purposes of this situation, asserting that Unsworth must satisfy a higher-than-ordinary amount of evidence that Musk either knew his statements were false or that he had been reckless in creating them.
“Mr. Unsworth can’t set a defamation case only because Mr. Musk insulted him Twitter and sent a personal email to a reporter,” they wrote in the court filing. “The Constitution doesn’t permit that.”
In April, a federal judge in Los Angeles refused Musk’s petition to discount Unsworth’s case.
The spat between the two erupted after Unsworth disregarded the mini-submarine who Musk and workers at SpaceX had constructed to help in the rescue of a bunch of Thai boys that had been trapped in a muddy cave this past year. Unsworth stated in a television interview that the mini-submarine, which wasn’t utilized in the rescue, was a”PR stunt” which Musk would”stick his submarine where it strikes.”