By on September 16, 2019

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

Man, it never ends. Removed from the many, many issues at play both inside and outside Tesla’s Palo Alto HQ, a lawsuit sparked by a childish spat between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and a British cave diver still hangs over Musk’s head.

If you don’t recall the ridiculous episode, Vernon Unsworth, who was instrumental in organizing the successful rescue of a Thai soccer team last summer, told Musk to shove his experimental, homemade submarine up his ass. Musk responded by referring to him as “pedo guy”on Twitter.

On Monday, Musk sought to have the defamation suit tossed out on the grounds that “pedo” could mean a lot of things. This is 2019, people, and it’s Silicon Valley. 

In a court filing detailed by the Los Angeles Times, Musk claimed,“By referring to Mr. Unsworth as ‘pedo guy,’ I did not intend to convey any facts or imply that Mr. Unsworth had engaged in acts of pedophilia,”

Interesting argument. Let’s see where this goes.

“Pedo guy was a common insult used in South Africa when I was growing up. It is synonymous with ‘creepy old man’ and is used to insult a person’s appearance and demeanor, not accuse a person of pedophilia,” he continued.

That could very well be a common term in South Africa, though is this writer the only person thinking the term and the later description imply the exact same thing? We’ll leave it to the courts to decide.

U.S. Navy

During the cave drama, rescuers turned down Musk’s offer of using his hastily-made sub to extract the trapped children. Musk was proud of that sub, which looked nothing like the Los Angeles-class attack submarine seen above, regardless of its perceived inability to navigate the twisting tunnel inside that Thai cave.

In the filing, Musk revealed he spent 50 grand having Unsworth investigated. Again, this is Silicon Valley. Jack Dorsey probably hires a shaman to cleanse his yoga mat each morning, so this trial, while seemingly the easiest thing in the world for a CEO to avoid, could almost fall under the banner of “inevitable.”

Musk has tried once before to have the suit dismissed. A federal judge shot down the request back in April.

Who makes your car?

[Images: Tesla, United States Navy]

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21 Comments on “Elon Musk: I’m Not Sure What *You* Think ‘Pedo’ Means, But…...”


  • avatar
    Conslaw

    If he wants to call me “pedo guy” then give me a new Model S as a settlement, he can scream it from the rafters.

  • avatar
    MartyToo

    I’m somewhat afraid to comment because I don’t want Elon to call me a name as I abhor suing people.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    Keep digging, Elon. You’re getting really close to the bottom of that hole.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Wait until the real tort sharks show up with all these death/injury cases for “Autopilot” and “Full Self Driving”. Yes those are vs. Tesla Corporate instead of Musk personally, but you know he won’t be able to watch from the sidelines.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Not gonna happen. Level 2 autonomy requires an attentive driver at all times. Autopilot doesn’t even have to work.

      • 0 avatar
        jaffa68

        I think there are plenty of examples where Tesla/Musk have encouraged misuse of Autopilot and/or exaggerated its capabilities.

        For example Musk said earlier this year, after Tesla launched the ‘drive-on-nav’ feature that FSD (full self driving) is available now on highway.

        There are also many examples of Musk and Tesla conflating Autopilot and FSD features, or making claims for safety compared to human-driven cars. Causing customers to believe the system has more capability and is safer than it actually is.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        “Not gonna happen. Level 2 autonomy requires an attentive driver at all times. Autopilot doesn’t even have to work.”

        The people who understand what you’re saying and can’t be convinced to believe the opposite by any ambulance chaser worth his date with Satan are all capable of avoiding jury duty.

    • 0 avatar
      TS020

      He says he wants other manufacturers to transition to EV, but then can’t handle someone else building an EV that might outperform a Tesla (see: Taycan and Nurburgring).

  • avatar
    Lokki

    Elon’s “Just jokin’ Bro!” defense isn’t going to get very far. After the first comment he doubled down with words to the effect of , “well, if he’s not a pedo, why didn’t he sue me?” He later followed -that- winner up with an email to Buzzfeed (which they naturally made public, being who they are):

    “…I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you fucking asshole,” Musk wrote in the first message. “He’s an old, single white guy from England who’s been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.”

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/elon-musk-thai-cave-rescuer-accusations-buzzfeed-email

    I am not anti-Tesla by any means, but I sure hope this cost Elon plenty.

  • avatar
    jaffa68

    Musk isn’t doing himself any favours taking this position, AFTER the ‘pedo-guy’ tweet he send a PI to dig up dirt on Unsworth (he didn’t find any) and Musk also referred to Unsworth as a “child rapist” in an email to a journalist.

    It’s pretty clear that Musk sent the original tweet as part of a tantrum for his daft sub/tube/capsule idea being dismissed, he knew what his comment meant, we know what his comment meant.

  • avatar
    incautious

    with over 750 lawsuits, the pot smoking CEO will be very busy with depositions.

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    Musk took a Sharpie to his previous tweet.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    If Musk can refute this outburst, he’s getting away with character assassination. His pwetty liddle toy sub likely couldn’t get around rocky corners in a submerged subterranean cave due to its length and was rejected by adults who knew a thing or two about real cave rescue. Having been spurned in his bid to become an even bigger hewo to his idolators, he threw a fit. A Boring fit.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6132427/Elon-Musk-accuses-British-cave-diver-moving-Thailand-child-bride.html

  • avatar
    Dilrod

    Interesting. I have a friend in his late 50s who also grew up in South Africa and as an “Engelsman” who served in the Army and went to an Afrikaner school, was regularly verbally abused in Afrikaans. He’s taught me all kinds of nasty names and slang, but never that one.

    Afrikaans is the perfect language for colorful insults. I’m sure Musk could’ve come up with something better.

  • avatar
    MBella

    “Pedo guy was a common insult used in South Africa when I was growing up. It is synonymous with ‘creepy old man’ and is used to insult a person’s appearance and demeanor, not accuse a person of pedophilia,” he continued.

    Isn’t that still insinuating that the “creepy old guy” is a pedophile?

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    He’ll end up settling out of court.

    Your big mouth is going to cost you, Elon.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I’ve worked with someone like Elon. Bright, full of himself and often his own worst enemy. He was the dumbest smart person I’ve ever met.

    Twitter amplifies people’s lack of self control and judgement. Not that Musk would take any advice, but the best thing he could do is to delete all social media apps and never use them again.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    Your description also applies to President Trump.


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