On Monday, the legal battle between Elon Musk and Vern Unsworth, the British cave diver that Musk erroneously called a "pedo" and "child rapist" to his 20+ million Twitter followers and a BuzzFeed reporter, continued. Unsworth filed his opposition to Musk's motion for summary judgement in the case and the filing was chock full of highlights.
Unsworth's opposition argues that Elon Musk knowingly defamed him and orchestrated "a malicious, false, and anonymous leak campaign in the UK and Australian press”.
Unsworth also argued that Musk's statements were "replete with untruths and misrepresentations," according to BuzzFeed news.
After the table of contents, which does a pretty good job of summarizing the ridiculous story thus far, Buzzfeed reporter Ryan Mac points out that Unsworth's attorney got a hold of Musk's emails - including one email on September 4, 2018 to a public relations consultant named Juleanna Glover, where Musk refers to himself as a "fucking idiot" for emailing a reporter unverified information.
Looks like Unsworth's legal team got their hand on Elon Musk's emails with a PR consultant during discovery. Musk calls himself a "fucking idiot." pic.twitter.com/q559R3xBma— Ryan Mac 🙃 (@RMac18) October 8, 2019
“It was still one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done,” Musk also says.
Unsworth's lawyers argued that Musk knew that his allegations were false but defamed him anyway:
“On August 24, 27, and 30, Musk received separate written reports stating that Unsworth met [his partner] when she was at least 18 or 19 years old (and married her some years after that) – but less than 8 hours after getting the last such report, Musk nonetheless told the BuzzFeed reporter that Unsworth is a child rapist who married a 12-year-old child bride.”
The legal filing also makes the astonishing claim that the head of Musk's family office, Jared Birchall, encouraged unproven information dug up by a private investigator (who was later found to be a felon) to be leaked to the U.K. press.
"We would like you to immediately move forward with 'leaking' ...."— EV Defender (@evdefender) October 8, 2019
"Birchall confirmed that Musk was likely involved in forming the information for these stories ... "$tsla pic.twitter.com/SN456Opniy
The accusations in this document are stunning. Among the biggest, the head of Musk's family office told their hired private investigator (who turned out to be a convicted felon) to leak unproven information about Unsworth to the British press. pic.twitter.com/FkrkueWPbZ— Ryan Mac 🙃 (@RMac18) October 8, 2019
Meanwhile, turning to the rescue itself, proof continues to surface that Musk is more concerned with his own image and PR than he ever was in actually helping the cause.
Unsworth's filing points out that Musk spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get the Thai prime minister involved in walking back critical statements made by the Thai regional government about Musk's proposed solution.
The filing reads:
“On July 10th, before the Boys were all rescued, Musk and members of his team that were supposed to be engaged in developing the Tube were instead enlisting the Thai government (including the Thai Prime Minister) to publicly reverse a statement by the Thai regional governor’s statement that the Tube was not practical and did not fit the mission.”
“I can see how this would look like a ‘narcissistic PR stunt,'” Musk conceded during discovery.
Yeah, Elon, we agree. Maybe it's time to cut Unsworth his check so you can get back to "innovating".