Tesla founder Elon Musk has appeared in court in California to acknowledge a lawsuit brought by a British cave diver he known as “pedo man” on Twitter.
Vernon Unsworth, who helped rescue 12 boys trapped in a Thai cave closing one year, is suing for defamation.
Mr Musk, the key to testify on the Los Angeles court, acknowledged Mr Unsworth had insulted him, so he insulted him assist.
Mr Unsworth’s upright personnel possess described Mr Musk’s tweet as “vile and false” and are looking out for punitive damages.
The Tesla and SpaceX billionaire posted the tweet, since deleted, after Mr Unsworth publicly rejected his proposal to use a mini-submarine to rescue the boys – participants of a soccer personnel who became trapped deep inner a collapse northern Thailand closing June.
In a TV interview on the time, Mr Unsworth pushed aside the premise as a PR stunt and suggested the American “stick his submarine the place it hurts”.
This brought a few chain of tweets from Mr Musk, in conjunction with one describing Mr Unsworth as a “pedo man”.
In his court testimony, Mr Musk acknowledged Mr Vernon’s feedback to CNN had been “disagreeable and insulting, and so I insulted him assist.”
They had been “an unprovoked assault on what became as soon as a upright-natured strive and inspire the young participants”.
Mr Musk suggested the court he had thought Mr Unsworth “became as soon as only a few random creepy man” and “unrelated to the rescue”.
The Tesla boss later apologised for the tweet after shares in his Tesla automobile firm fell 4%.
In a filing as share of a failed request to possess the case thrown out of court he suggested that in South Africa, the place he grew up, the length of time “pedo man” is a general insult meaning “creepy used man” and does now not accuse any individual of paedophilia. Mr Unsworth’s upright personnel direct here is “offensive to the very fact”.
The snatch has denied the defence’s request to give an explanation for Mr Unsworth as a “public figure” – meaning attorneys for Mr Unsworth invent now not decide to point to Mr Musk acted with “right malice”, reducing the bar mandatory to snatch the case.
The case continues.