The Tesla CEO made the baseless accusation about Vernon Unsworth, a British cave diver who helped rescue a boys’ soccer team trapped in a Thailand cave.
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In the latest of Elon Musk’s attacks on cave diver Vernon Unsworth — a British man who helped rescue a boys’ soccer team trapped in a cave in Thailand — Musk called him a “child rapist.”
The Tesla CEO wrote an email to BuzzFeed News on Tuesday, writing, “I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you fucking asshole.” He alleged that Unsowrth had moved to Chiang Rai — the location of the cave the boys were trapped in — to find a child bride. Musk provided no evidence for his claims, and Unsworth denied them, according to BuzzFeed News. And although Musk had started his email with the phrase “off the record,” the news site said it didn’t agree to the condition.
Representatives for Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk’s new allegations continue a months-long feud with the cave diver. In July, Unsworth referred to Musk’s creation of a child-size submarine to aid rescue efforts as a “PR stunt,” saying, “Stick your submarine where it hurts.” In a now-deleted tweet, Musk referred to Unsworth as a “pedo guy.” In August, Musk tweeted about Unsworth: “You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me yet?”
That lawsuit may not be far off, according to Unsworth’s Atlanta-based attorney, L. Lin Wood.
“Elon Musk’s ongoing campaign of publishing vile and false accusations against Mr. Unsworth is outrageous,” Wood said in a statement to Entrepreneur. “Musk has publicly and clearly stated that he ‘hopes’ to be sued. Let me be equally clear in response: Musk will be sued — not because of his hopes but because he deserves to be sued. His conduct is unlawful and egregious. He will not avoid accountability because of his wealth and perceived power.”
Musk referenced the potential lawsuit in his email. “As for this alleged threat of a lawsuit, which magically appeared when I raised the issue (nothing was sent or raised beforehand), I fucking hope he sues me,” Musk wrote.
Tesla shares were down 2.86 percent at time of writing.