- L. Lin Wood, a lawyer retained by the British diver Vernon Unsworth, whom Elon Musk called a “pedo,” is “preparing a civil complaint for libel” against Musk.
- In a letter addressed to Musk obtained by Business Insider, Wood says Musk made “false and defamatory statements” suggesting that Unsworth is a pedophile.
- Wood also invites Musk or his legal representatives to contact him to avoid a lawsuit.
- A representative for Musk did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
L. Lin Wood, a lawyer retained by the British diver Vernon Unsworth, whom Elon Musk called a “pedo,” is “preparing a civil complaint for libel” against Musk, according to a letter Wood sent to Musk on August 6 that was reviewed by Business Insider.
In the letter, Wood writes that Musk made “false and defamatory statements” suggesting Unsworth is a pedophile.
“You published through three different tweets to your twenty-two million followers that Mr. Unsworth engages in the sexual exploitation of Thai children, and you did so at a time when he was working to save the lives of twelve Thai children,” Wood writes. Unsworth was involved in the Thailand cave rescue.
In the letter, Wood invites Musk or his legal representatives to contact him to avoid a lawsuit.
A representative for Musk did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
On Tuesday, Musk suggested via Twitter that it was unusual Unsworth hadn’t sued him yet and asked a Twitter user who brought up the matter why he hadn’t investigated it.
“You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me? He was offered free legal services,” Musk said after the Twitter user, Drew Olanoff, criticized Musk for the “pedo” tweet.
Musk then asked Olanoff multiple times why he hadn’t investigated the matter and ended the exchange by suggesting that Olanoff was not a “truth-seeker” because he didn’t investigate why Unsworth hadn’t sued Musk.
In July, Musk called Unsworth a pedophile in a tweet and said he would bet money to back his accusation after Unsworth said the miniature submarine Musk designed and sent to Thailand to help with the rescue of a boys’ soccer team and their coach would have been ineffective and was merely a publicity stunt. Musk later apologized to Unsworth and deleted the tweet.
Musk is known for being unusually candid on Twitter compared to other CEOs, but he has become increasingly combative on the site this year, lashing out at critics and reporters and spurring questions about his judgment when using the site.
He reportedly prompted an investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission in August when he said on Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private and had secured the funding to do so. The agency is reportedly investigating whether Musk was attempting to hurt the company’s short-sellers when he published the tweet.
Reports that emerged after the tweet and a statement from Musk suggested that, at the time of the tweet, he did not have legally-binding agreements in place that would provide enough funding to convert Tesla into a private company. Musk said on Friday that Tesla would remain public, but said he believed there was “more than enough funding” to take the company private.
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