Thailand cave rescuer may sue Elon Musk for calling him a pedophile

Pauline Gross
July 17, 2018

Tesla's shares fell 3.5% on Monday following Chief Executive Elon Musk's unfounded accusation on Twitter that a British cave expert involved in the dramatic rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped underground in northern Thailand was a "pedo". Tesla shares fell from $318.87 on Friday's close to $307.20 in after-hours trading on Monday, Reuters reports, stripping nearly $2 billion from the company's market value. Now, the diver says he might sue.

The cave saga, on the other hand, was a massive, weeks-long operation to rescue a boys soccer team from a flooded tunnel system, an effort led by the Thai Government, carried out with the help of British divers, and watched obsessively by much of the world. "Well, [if] by definition rescuing 12 young boys.that puts everybody in the same context". Only people in sight were the Thai navy/army guys, who were great. The unsubstantiated claim came after the expert caver criticized the miniature submarine Musk created to help with the Thai cave rescue. "It just had absolutely no chance of working".

Some Tesla investors have suggested Elon Musk focus on building cars.

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said Unsworth could potentially bring a legal case arguing that Musk's attack was libel - a false and written statement that defamed or damaged his reputation.

Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, offered no evidence or justification for his claim that Unsworth is a pedophile. The original tweet and a second one doubling down on the message were later deleted.

When a Twitter user pointed out that Musk was "calling the guy who found the children a pedo", the billionaire responded: "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true". In an interview last week, Musk said he was reforming from his belief that Twitter was a no-holds-barred battleground where "if you attack me, it is therefore okay for me to attack back".

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"Would you consider taking legal action against him?" a reporter asked, again.

Asked how he felt about Musk's remark, Unsworth added: "I am not gonna make any further comment about him but I think people realize what sort of a guy he is".

The BBC has contacted Mr Musk, via his company Tesla, for comment.

"He had no conception of what the cave passage was like", Unsworth said in the interview.

In tweets that appear to have since been deleted, Musk said the submarine would have managed easily, as "you could literally have swum to Cave 5 with no gear".

Other reports by GizPress

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