Elon Musk: By ‘pedo guy’, I just meant diver was creepy

Elon Musk walks with his face turned away from cameras as he arrives at court for trial in Los Angeles

British cave explorer Vernon Unsworth testified yesterday he felt "branded a paedophile" despite Musk's assertion that his "pedo guy" tweet was not meant to be taken literally.

A British cave expert has testified that he was left feeling "humiliated, ashamed" and "dirtied" after Elon Musk labelled him "pedo guy" online.

"I was actually sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole", said Mr. Unsworth.

Vernon Unsworth is suing the Tesla founder for defamation. When Wood asked if Musk was worth about $20 billion, Musk said, "I think my SpaceX and Tesla stock may amount to something like that".

Musk's "pedo guy" tweet is one of three tweets that Unsworth has said defamed him and harmed his reputation. He apologised for the tweet but insisted he was responding to an "unprovoked" insult from Mr Unsworth.

"I'm not sure to the degree I'm influential", Musk said.

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Two days later, the Tesla funder posted a series of tweets, including one describing Mr Unsworth as a "peado guy".

Musk said the insult only meant "scary old man".

The spat began when Unsworth ridiculed Musk's effort to help in the rescue by having engineers at his companies, including Space X and The Boring Co., develop a mini-submarine that could transport the boys. Although he worked day and night to build the submarine, Musk arrived in Thailand at the end of the rescue operations and the craft was never used.

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He also said that Musk could "stick his submarine where it hurts".

Despite all the efforts involved, it appears that the person who was allegedly attempting to purchase the domain in question at Musk's behest was ultimately unable to buy it. Musk said that Wood couches it in fancy language but Musk knows what it means.

Mr Musk's lawyer Alex Spiro countered that Mr Unsworth did not act after the tweet like a man who suffered because of it. On the contrary, Spiro told the jurors, Unsworth became a celebrity notwithstanding Musk's tweets and was honoured by the Queen of England and the King of Thailand for his part in the rescue.

But Unsworth said that even his inauguration as a member of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II this summer was a bitter sweetness.

Mr Musk apologised from the witness stand and expressed regret several times for his tweets, which he downplayed as "off-the-cuff" responses that he hurriedly wrote in anger and never meant to be taken seriously.

A newspaper article that day reported that he had received the honor and also mentioned the hurtful tweet. He said that it was a good day for his mother and loved ones, but that everything was fine for him.

The case centres around a tweet Elon Musk posted as the world watched the daring rescue of a team of Thai boy footballers from deep inside a flooded cave.

Mr Unsworth, who lives in Britain and Thailand, is seeking unspecified damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress. Attorneys for Unsworth said the investigator was offered a $10,000 bonus if he was able to confirm nefarious behaviour-which was never paid. During the rescue, he helped recruit experienced cave divers who were instrumental in freeing the boys safely.

Once the boys and their coach were safe, Unsworth was asked what he thought of Musk in an interview on CNN.

Stanton downplayed the comments he had made that some of the Unsworth tips regarding the cave only provided a "moral boost". "You don't work for free", Musk said to Wood.

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