Elon Musk Just Might Get His Libel Suit Wish

elon musk just might get his libel suit wish

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the executive with a “Don’t Hold Back” sticker placed atop every one of his phone and computer screens, didn’t need to poke the bear last night. It seems there’s already a libel suit being loaded into the chamber, ready to fire in his direction.

In a Twitter exchange he could easily have avoided by tidying up around the house, preparing a wholesome snack, getting this owner the repairs he’s been waiting six months for, or perhaps reading one of Lee Iacocca or Bob Lutz’s books, Musk suggested, once again, that a British diver he’s already apologized to is a pedophile, again without offering evidence.

Asking why Vernon Unsworth hasn’t filed a lawsuit against him, Musk then practically dared the cave rescuer to sue. He’ll probably get his wish, especially after last night’s antics.

The digital ink was barely dry on Musk’s tweets when BuzzFeed News got its hands on a letter sent from Unsworth’s lawyers to Musk’s home. Dated August 6th, the letter explains that Unsworth has retained legal counsel and is in the process of “preparing a civil complaint for libel.”

Claiming Musk’s comments were “false” and “defamatory,” Atlanta-based lawyer L. Lin Wood wrote, “You published through three different tweets to your twenty-two million followers that Mr. Unsworth engages in the sexual exploitation of Thai children, and you did so at a time when he was working to save the lives of twelve Thai children. You did so without any basis. According to a subsequent Twitter post, you did so out of anger.”

Though Unsworth, 63, was not physically involved in the rescuing of a Thai soccer team trapped in a flooded cave last month, his background in cave diving was essential in crafting their rescue. Still, Musk later told BuzzFeed, “Have you actually done any research at all?” adding, “For example, you incorrectly state that he is a diver, which shows that you know essentially nothing and have not even bothered to research basic facts.”

BuzzFeed since confirmed that the British cave explorer and diver is indeed a diver, and owns much diving equipment. Musk did say whether he received the letter from Unsworth’s lawyer.

At the time of publication, Tesla’s stock had fallen 2.3 percent in Wednesday trading.

[Image: Tesla]

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  • Islander800 That is the best 20-year-on update of the Honda Element that I've ever seen. Strip out the extraneous modern electronic crap that adds tens of thousands to the price and the completely unnecessary 400 pd/ft torque and horse power, and you have a 2022 Honda Element - right down to the neoprene interior "elements" of the Element - minus the very useful rear-hinged rear doors. The proportions and dimensions are identical.Call me biased, but I still drive my west coast 2004 Element, at 65K miles. Properly maintained, it will last another 20 years....Great job, Range Rover!
  • Dennis Howerton Nice article, Corey. Makes me wish I had bought Festivas when they were being produced. Kia made them until the line was discontinued, but Kia evidently used some of the technology to make the Rio. Pictures of the interior look a lot like my Rio's interior, and the 1.5 liter engine is from Mazda while Ford made the automatic transmission in the used 2002 Rio I've been driving since 2006. I might add the Rio is also an excellent subcompact people mover.
  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
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