On the top floor of a courthouse in Los Angeles, lawyers from a British diver and a billionaire technology CEO argued over a linguistic dilemma: does "pedo guy" necessarily mean "pedophile"?
Elton Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, tweeted the insult over diver Vernon Unsworth in July 2018. Unsworth was later charged with defamation. However, in court, Musk released a defense on Tuesday that he had filed for the first time in August: "Pedo-type," he said, actually meant not pedophile but the slightly roguish "creepy old man" ,
In the deposition, Musk attributed this definition to his childhood in South Africa, where he claimed that "pedo guy" was a frequent insult. But on Tuesday in court, the opening day of the statement in Unsworth's lawsuit, Musk broadened the claim. "Pedo guy" means scary, not only in South Africa, but in the entire English-speaking world. "It's common on the internet," Musk said. "If you had googled it now, it would show it."
The bizarre tangle of events dates back to a high-profile crisis in June 201
Musk, who followed the news, stated on Twitter that he would join in. Although no one had asked for his help, Musk instructed his engineers to build a submarine the size of a child , But when it was done, musk was too late. A team of rescue divers – including Unsworth – was saving the children.
Later that week, CNN asked Unsworth about Musk's efforts. Unsworth called her a "PR stunt" and told Musk that he "could hold his submarine where it hurts." In response, Musk chalked up what he later posted to a fit of rage [19459011machte] his infamous "pedo guy" tweet. In the same thread, Musk added that he has "never seen this British expat guy living in Thailand (sus)." (Musk has since deleted both tweets.)
Me with a submarine, just as I did not mean literally that he is a pedophile.
On Tuesday in court, Unsworth lawyers asked what was suspicious of a British living in Thailand. Musk reiterated that he regarded Unsworth as "a scary old white man living in Thailand" and said, "Who knows what he's doing there?"
The Twitter spit of July 2018 also spawned an out-of-school investigation that put Musk into additional trouble. Shortly after his "pedo guy" tweet, a man named James Howard-Higgins, allegedly an investigator, found himself in an email in Musk's office. Howard-Higgins wrote, "Like Elon, I think Mr. Unsworth has skeletons in his closet." He added, "I can help discreetly and have a team in Bangkok." At first Musk did not answer.
Then On August 6, Unsworth's lawyer sent a letter to Musk saying that Unsworth intended to sue over the "pedo guy" tweet. On Tuesday, Musk admitted that the possibility of a lawsuit inspired him to re-establish Howard-Higgins. "I've been told of a threatening letter," Musk said. "That's why I decided to call this investigator on his offer."
Under a pseudonym, the head of Musks Family Office hired Howard-Higgins to pay him $ 52,000 for unsearching the past of Unsworth. Musk told the jury that he did not know that his employee was using a pseudonym, although he admitted that the employee asserted that there were no embarrassing e-mail from him that would hit the press. "