Tesla CEO Elon Musk will go on a trial over defamation case from a British cave driver and will go on trial on 22nd October, according to recent court filings. Vernon Unsworth sued Musk last year when he repeatedly accused Unsworth of being a pedophile ‘Pedo guy’. The British cave driver was involved in the rescue of a soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand.
The district judge rejected Musk claims that he wasn’t making a real accusation. Musk and Unsworth involved in a little feud over the above soccer team incident last year.
“A reasonable fact-finder could easily conclude that [Elon Musk’s] statements … implied assertions of objective fact” wrote district judge Stephen V. Wilson.
Unsworth criticized Musk plans to save the team with a “kid-sized submarine.” Musk insulted Unsworth by calling him a “pedo guy” on Twitter. He further insulted him by tweeting “bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.” In an Email to Buzzfeed reported Musk explained that Unsworth had moved to Thailand in the hopes of finding a child bride who was about 12 years old at that time.
“I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you fu***** asshole,” Musk wrote, according to BuzzFeed. “He’s an old, single white guy from England who’s been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.”
Wilson pointed out the unethical approach used by the CEO of Tesla and that is why Musk defense of using a hyperbole was insufficient in the court filings.
“There is nothing about the context in which Defendant made the statements—in emails to a specific reporter—that would create doubt as to whether Defendant’s statements implied assertions of objective fact,” Wilson wrote.
The trial decision does not mean that Musk is guilty but it means that Unsworth case is strong enough to get a trial. On October 7th, a pre-trial conference will take place, also, this is not the first time Musk is going to courts for controversial tweets. He recently settled a separate lawsuit with the US Securities and Exchange Commission under the accusation of making misleading financial statements on Twitter.