Elon Musk wins defamation case brought by man he called "pedo guy" on Twitter

by Adam Ford · Dec 7th, 2019 6:08 pm
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A Los Angeles federal jury has found Elon Musk not liable for defamation in a lawsuit brought by British spelunker Vernon Unsworth, whom Musk called "pedo guy" on Twitter during an argument last year.

Musk's attorneys argued in court that the billionaire meant the odd insult as a generic put-down, and that he was not accusing Unsworth of being a literal pedophile.

The bad blood between the two began when Unsworth, who was a crucial figure in rescuing 12 boys and their soccer coach from flooded caves in Thailand in July 2018, criticized Musk for involving himself in the effort by offering to build a mini-submarine to aid in the effort, which became international news. He said Musk could "stick his submarine where it hurts," and voiced his opinion that the entire effort was "just a PR stunt" for the outspoken CEO OF SpaceX and Tesla, Inc.

Musk responded by calling Unsworth "pedo guy" on Twitter and vowing to prove that his submarine would have been effective at rescuing the stranded soccer team.

Musk apologized for the insult during his court testimony and assured Unsworth that he did not consider him a pedophile.

The jury deliberated for just one hour before delivering its verdict.