A California court released trial documents between Elon Musk and British caver Verne Answorth, who helped save children from a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018. It turned out that the entrepreneur hired a private detective to search for incriminating information about the lifeguard, whom Musk twice accused of pedophilia.
The conflict between Musk and Answorth began in 2018, when the head of Tesla proposed to evacuate schoolchildren using a small submarine from the details of the Falcon rocket. The caver criticized Musk ’s plan, suggesting the entrepreneur “put his submarine in his ass” and accusing him of trying to promote a tragedy.
In response, the head of Tesla called the diver “pedo guy” (“pedo guy”), but soon apologized . However, in August, in a correspondence with BuzzFeed News, Musk called the rescuer a “child rapist” and accused of marrying a 12-year-old girl. In September, Answorth sued the head of Tesla for disseminating false and defamatory information.
The first court hearing took place on May 10, 2019, and on September 16, a California federal court published documents related to the case. They showed that the entrepreneur paid $ 50,000 to a former British intelligence agent, now a private detective, to draw up a dossier on a caver.
In the response to the lawsuit, Musk also asked the judge to dismiss the case, saying that calling a person a “pedo guy” is not the same as blaming him for pedophilia.
I did not mean that Answorth is a pedophile. Pedo Guy is a common insult in South Africa. This is a synonym for “creepy old man”, which is used to insult a person’s appearance and behavior, rather than blaming him for pedophilia.
founder of Tesla
In early August 2018, Musk lawyer Gerard Birchal began to communicate with a private detective by e-mail and sent him a list of questions compiled by the founder of Tesla. The Answorth investigation was codenamed Project Rowena. On August 30, Birchal received a dossier with the detective’s assumptions about what the caver did in Thailand.
In the report, the detective indicated that Answorth was 63 years old and his wife 30: “That is, when they first met, she was 18-19, and he was 52.” However, BuzzFeed News found out that at that time the lifeguard girl was 40 years old. The detective also stated that a visit to Parsley by the Answorth resort “indicates his lifestyle”: since “there are no cave chains”, it can be assumed that “a caver is a sex worker (a person who comes to Asia to have sex with prostitutes) “. In court, Answorth denied having ever been to Pattaya.
Answorth’s lawyers called the Musk’s petition “a disgusting attempt to continue to spoil the client’s reputation without any corroborated evidence.” Musk emphasized that he did not call the diver “pedophile” literally, but noted that after receiving the dossier from the detective, he thought: “Well, maybe he really is a pedophile?”
In the testimony, Musk also compared Answorth to Jeffrey Epstein, who was suspected of selling underage girls to sex slavery: “What if we have another Jeffrey Epstein here? What if he uses his fame after the rescue operation to hide his bad deeds? That would be terrible. ” The entrepreneur emphasized that he never spoke with the detective directly. All information was “retold” to him by his lawyer.