In 2019, billionaire Tesla CEO, Elon Musk was taken to court docket for alleged defamation in opposition to British cave diving hero Vernon Unsworth. Elon Musk mentioned he thought a British cave diving was simply “some random creepy man” when he known as him a “pedo” on Twitter.
The general public row broke out between the 2 males over the rescue of 12 boys trapped in a Thai collapse June 2018. Unsworth sued Musk in September 2018, two months after taking part in a number one position within the rescue of the 12 boys and their soccer coach from the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave.
Musk despatched a mini submarine to Thailand, which Vernon labelled a PR stunt, then the billionaire responded by calling him a “pedo man” on Twitter .
Learn extra: How Elon Musk made his £200bn fortune earlier than he purchased Twitter
Vernon, whose efforts had been rewarded with an MBE, launched authorized motion to sue the Tesla founder for defamation however the jury present in favour of Musk. To get the newestWalesOnline newsletters emailed to you straight without spending a dime click on right here.
Unsworth confessed he felt “humiliated, dirtied and ashamed” after being branded a ‘paedo’ by Elon Musk.
Mr Musk informed the court docket the phrase “pedo man” was frequent in South Africa, the place he grew up and in December 2019, a US jury discovered that Elon Musk didn’t defame Vernon Unsworth. Mr Unsworth sought $190m (£145m) in damages from Musk, arguing that the tweet broken his repute.
The Mirror experiences, Talking on Good Morning Britain in 2019, emotional Vernon mentioned: “He got down to destroy me. Psychologically, I am a troublesome man. Exhausting on the skin, tender on the within.
“Even some of these things that got here out of the personal instigator’s report was disgusting. Even referred to me as a ‘sex-pat w****monger’.
“He principally mentioned he thought I used to be a random man attempting to take the highlight, not realising I would been two days off a 17 day rescue so I in all probability wasn’t wanting my finest.”
“He principally handled it as an insult. Insults are an instantaneous response. He went out and researched earlier than he despatched these tweets. He tried to analysis me. ‘Suspicious outdated man in Thailand – paedo’.”
Vernon’s lawyer, Mark Stephens, claimed the jury “misunderstood the regulation” and “misapplied the regulation to the details”.
He argued that Vernon was identifiable in Musk’s tweets regardless that his identify was not talked about.