Tesla CEO Elon Musk repeatedly expressed his frustration with a lawyer interviewing him during a June 1 deposition, calling him "a shameful person" and other insults.
"You seem like a very, very bad person. Just a bad human being," Musk said to Randall Baron. "And I hope you come to regret your actions in the future, but you probably won't. And that's sad."
Musk suggested that his irritation stemmed from a belief that Baron's conduct represented an effort to undermine the work Tesla has done to promote sustainable energy.
"Here you are attacking a company that has done this, done this good thing for the United States, ultimately, something that benefits you and the world," Musk said.
At one point, Musk asked if Baron drove a gas-powered car. When Baron said he did, Musk replied, "Why do you hate the environment?"
Baron directed Business Insider to comments he made during the deposition.
"Mr. Musk, I have not insulted you once," Baron said. "You've insulted me a number of times. Is that just your regular course of conduct?"
Tesla and an attorney representing Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The deposition was part of a 2016 lawsuit filed by Tesla shareholders alleging that the members of Tesla's board of directors, which included Musk at the time, acted in their own best interests, rather than in those of Tesla's investors, when they approved the $2.6 billion acquisition of the solar-panel company SolarCity in 2016. Since the acquisition, Tesla's solar business has, for the most part, declined, while critics have argued that the deal was a bailout by Musk of his cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive, who founded SolarCity.
While Musk said he likely would not support the acquisition if he could go back in time due to the difficulty of the early stages of production for Tesla's Model 3 sedan, which took significant resources away from Tesla's energy division, he added that SolarCity was "far and away" the best solar company Tesla could have bought at the time.
Musk said this month that the decline in Tesla's solar sales was temporary, and that he expects the company's energy business to eventually grow faster than its automotive business.
Read the relevant portions of the deposition document below:
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