Tesla's Musk is sued for calling Thai cave rescuer pedophile

Vernon Unsworth alleges that Musk falsely accused him on Twitter of being a pedophile.

Mr Musk called the Brit "pedo guy" in a tweet to his 22.5 million followers after Mr Unsworth criticised him in a TV interview with CNN about the rescue.

Mr Unsworth became a target for Mr Musk after cave rescuers rejected his offer of a mini-submarine created by his rocket company SpaceX to rescue the football team.

Mr Musk then went on to accuse Mr Unsworth of marrying "a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time" and that Chiang Rai, where Mr Unsworth lives with his Thai wife, "is renowned for child sex-trafficking".

Musk apologized on July 18, referring to Unsworth in saying "his actions against me do not justify my actions against him", and that "the fault is mine and mine alone". However, Unsworth took note a month later when Musk tweeted, "You don't think it's odd he hasn't sued me?"

Unsworth's attorney supplied a letter to Musk, dated August 6, that he was preparing a libel lawsuit against him. Dave Morton, Sarah O'Brien and Gaby Toledano, who respectively filled the roles of chief accounting officer, VP of communications and HR chief, all recently exited Tesla - a company that remains the subject of SEC inquiries and shareholder suits after another Musk tweetstorm that suggested he had acquired the necessary funding to take the company private.

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Mr Unsworth was part of the team of global divers who became known worldwide after they successfully rescued all 12 youngsters and their football coach when they became trapped for two weeks by rising waters in a Thai cave complex.

He also claimed Mr Unsworth was not a cave diver and that he hoped the Briton sued him. Mr Unsworth has never engaged in an act of paedophilia.

The boys, aged 11-16, were reached on July 2 by Volanthen and Stanton, according to the lawsuit. "Should be solved shortly", Musk said in a tweet here in response to a customer complaint on delivery delay.

'Together with Mr Unsworth, Mr Harper, Mr Volanthen, and Mr Stanton put together the dive portion of the rescue plan that ultimately saved the boys, ' the lawsuit said. The documents said a separate lawsuit would be filed in England.

He eventually tweeted the defamatory comments after Unsworth, an expert in Thailand's underground passageways, labeled Musk's mini-sub effort a "PR stunt" and for the eccentric billionaire to "stick his submarine where it hurts".

Stephens did not say when Mr Unsworth planned to file a claim in the British courts.

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