Elon Musk said that when he called a British diver a ‘pedo guy,’ he didn’t mean ‘pedophile’ (TSLA)

  • Over the past year, Elon Musk has been engaged in a legal battle with Vernon Unsworth, a British diver who was involved in last year's rescue of a youth soccer team and its coach from a cave in Thailand.
  • In July 2018, Musk called Unsworth a "pedo guy" in a tweet and said he would bet money to back his accusation after Unsworth said the miniature submarine Musk sent to Thailand to help with the rescue would have been ineffective and was merely a publicity stunt.
  • Unsworth sued Musk for defamation in September 2018.
  • In a court filing from Monday, Musk said the term "pedo guy" meant "creepy old man," rather than "pedophile."
  • But Musk did not provide further explanation for a later tweet in which he said he would bet a dollar that Unsworth was a "pedo."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Over the past year, Elon Musk has been engaged in a legal battle with Vernon Unsworth, a British diver who was involved in last year's rescue of a youth soccer team and its coach from a cave in Thailand.

In July 2018, Musk called Unsworth a "pedo guy" in a tweet and said he would bet money to back his accusation after Unsworth said the miniature submarine Musk sent to Thailand to help with the rescue would have been ineffective and was merely a publicity stunt. Musk later apologized to Unsworth and deleted the tweet.

Unsworth sued Musk for defamation in September 2018.

Read more: The 37 wildest Elon Musk quotes

In a court filing from Monday, Musk said the term "pedo guy" meant "creepy old man," rather than "pedophile."

"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," Musk said in the filing. "'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 acts of pedophilia."

"I did not intend to accuse Mr. Unsworth of engaging in acts of pedophilia. In response to his insults in the CNN interview, I meant to insult him back by expressing my opinion that he seemed like a creepy old man," Musk added.

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Musk did not provide further explanation for a later tweet in which he said he would bet a dollar that Unsworth was a "pedo."

"Oh, sorry, he's calling the guy who found the children a pedo. Real classy," a Twitter user said to Musk last July.

"Bet ya a signed dollar it's true," Musk replied.

Alex Spiro, an attorney representing Musk, declined Business Insider's request for comment.

Tesla, SpaceX, and the Boring Company did not immediately respond to Business Insider's requests for comment.

Are you a current or former Tesla employee? Do you have an opinion about what it's like to work there? Contact this reporter at [email protected].

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